Ask a Guy: When a Guy Withdraws… post image

Ask a Guy: When a Guy Withdraws…


Okay, I’m really confused. So I’ve been seeing this guy for a few months now. At first, everything was amazing. We hit it off right away and during the first few weeks, he seemed super into me- he would text me things like ‘I miss you’ and ‘can’t wait to see you’ and on our second date he said he ‘never liked a girl so much after only 2 dates’. He was also super attentive and super sweet.

All this was great, but then he started to shift and lately has been acting really shady- he cancels on me last minute, he’s been acting a distant, and I’m just getting weird vibes. At first I thought he was just trying to end things, but then from time to time he’ll text me something really sweet, like about how much he wants to see me, or that he’s been thinking about me, so obviously, he’s still interested or why would he do that? Anyway, I’m really confused by his behavior, my friends say I should just forget him but I really feel like we could have something great and I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Am I deluding myself? Please help! Why are guys like this!?

Read our guy’s response after the jump.

Okay, I’m gonna let you in on something that very few girls know. When a guy says things like ‘I’ve never liked a girl so much after only a few dates’ or he texts you saying he misses you when you barely know each other, he doesn’t really mean it. Yes, he feels something, but it is not “missing you” that he’s feeling.

The statements are actually rooted in his own insecurity. That may be hard to believe, but it’s true. In the beginning of a relationship, we will generally try to feel out how much a girl likes us.

For instance, if a guy says something like ‘I like you so much” or whatever during the early phases, he really just wants to see how you’ll react – namely, that you’ll say that you feel the same way. Now I’m not saying he doesn’t like you and isn’t interested, but his main goal here is to see how much YOU’RE interested.

If you say something like ‘oh my god really? I really like you too!’ and get all excited, then he knows you’re really into him. If you get really freaked-out and look at him like he’s a stalker, he’ll know that he’s gonna have to work a little harder to win you over.

So, for starters, I would say that the more insecure he is about you liking him, the more of this stuff he’s going to say until he’s convinced that you really like him a lot. Then he’ll start being himself…

In the beginning, the guy really just wants to make you like him. Everyone wants to be liked, it’s a really great feeling for both guys and girls. So him texting you sweet things and saying all that mushy stuff and being really attentive is just his way of hooking you in and it’s not really him expressing his feelings.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that he doesn’t feel anything for you or that he won’t feel anything for you. I’m just saying that at this early phase, it’s all just poetry - it will be real when both of you are convinced that you like each other and you both “drop the mask” and start acting like yourself, fully. “Dropping the mask” will be another article at another time…

So he’s being all sweet and really getting you to like him… and then he shifts. Well at this point, the guy realizes that you really like him, he has you, and he doesn’t have to try anymore. At this point, things are probably starting to get comfortable- you make plans regularly, you’re in contact more frequently, and a relationship seems just around the corner.

Now while you might start getting really excited by this prospect, this particular guy has probably gotten freaked out. At this point, he’s afraid that everything he said in the beginning has led you to believe that you guys are a couple and he starts acting in a way that shows you this is not the case. He cancels plans, he goes MIA for days at a time, he acts distant.

At the root of it, the same sense of insecurity that made the guy obsessed with finding out if you like him is now scaring him into thinking that you’re going to “take his freedom away”. This is a guy thing – we might be completely faithful to you in every way, but we want to feel that we still can do whatever we want.

All of this is his way of asserting that you guys are not yet a couple and his actions are just his way of getting that across. It doesn’t mean he’s not into you anymore- the reason he’ll send those sweet texts from time to time are to make sure you know he’s still interested, however, his behavior is just his way of slowing things down.

I guess you could think of it as the testing phase or as some would call it, “the freak-out phase”. What girls need to realize is that this freak-out phase is essential in determining if the relationship will last or not. If you start getting on his case ‘why didn’t you call’ ‘why are you being so shady?’ etc. he will feel trapped and suffocated and start pulling away. He will no longer see you as a prize that needs to be won over, he will see you as desperate, available, and needy and nothing gets a guy running for the hills faster. (See my last Ask a Guy: When a Guy Doesn’t Text Back…)

And to be honest, I have seen ... (continued - Click to keep reading Ask a Guy: When a Guy Withdraws…)

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Sara

Okay so i am in a similar situation. I freaked him out and he told me to take things easy. He said we should be friends because we kind off rushed into it and then see if we can work it out. I agreed. So after about what a day he texts me and we have a casual conversation as friends . And then he tells me he misses me because hes sonused to talking to me. And then he sends me this text ” what if after sometime i want to get back with you but you like someone else ” i know he might be leading me on and all. But i really like this guy and i do want us to be together. Help me out here please :(

Reply November 5, 2014, 8:34 am

Crystal

Hi Eric,
So I started this fling with this guy at work and he was really into in the beginning. We would laugh and have a great time together, but I told one person who he claims told a lot of people who asked him about it and on top of that he found out that I went on a date with another guy a the same workplace, but it was just to hang out. After that day he was just plain mean to me and even though we kind of moved past that and started seeing each other again. He got upset about people at work knowing because of this one person I told and apparently those people were telling him that I’m in love with him and he called me a crazy stalker and wants nothing to do with me. Is there no hope to fix this situation?

Reply August 13, 2014, 8:55 pm

Monica

My guy is definitely in the “freak-out” phase. I read this article and I was shaking my head the WHOLE TIME!! I feel a lot better but I want to make sure I’ve got all this right…

We’ve only been “talking” a few weeks. When I read the beginning of this article where you said that the guy would say so many sweet things to get you hooked. Can I just say…I wish I would’ve read this article weeks ago?! I completely fell for it.This guy told me that he couldn’t believe the way I make him feel and that he’s never been so happy in his life. He was even talking about marriage and kids in the first WEEK!! He even called me by my first name and his last name!! I’ll admit… it freaked me out a little but I liked him SO MUCH that I just fell deep into his trap. When he came back to my town to see his family and see me, HE planned things every day with me. He wanted to see me every day all day. He even brought me to church with him and his family. We all spent the whole day together. Toward the end of his visit back up here, He started acting distant. He was calling me his “homie” and joking around with me like I was just a “buddy”. He wasn’t calling me the pet names he was calling me before and he sure wasn’t treating me like he was when he first arrived back home. Now, ever since he’s gone back, he’s been SO up and down. It’s sending me on a freaking emotional roller coaster. Sometimes he’s so sweet and calls me those names and tells me how much he cares about me and carries on normal conversations. Sometimes, he ONLY talks about sexual things with me and how much he’s attracted to me sexually. And then sometimes, he will be completely distant. He’ll be short with me and hardly respond or when we skype, he will treat me like a “homie” again. He used to always tell me to hurry up and get home so he can see me on FaceTime or Skype and we’d talk for hours. And when he was home, he called me multiple times in a day and he brought me everywhere even if he was with the guys. AND when he went out to hang out with his friends, he FaceTimed me and let me talk to all of his friends and at times secluded himself from his friends just to talk to me and he just drowned me in compliments and pet names. Honestly, I don’t mind being treated like a friend because that’s what I am right now but I just don’t want to keep feeling like this all may be a lost cause or just too much of my energy. I’ve been trying to “play it cool” but it’s so hard… I never call him out for not calling or texting me back and sometimes he even apologizes for not texting when there’s no apology needed. I make sure he knows that he doesn’t need to apologize for not getting back to me asap. And, he always picks up when I call…which is hardly ever anymore because I’m trying to focus on me so I don’t get hurt by this guy. I even feel like he ASSUMES that I’m going to be needy because that’s what most girls act like but 80% of the time, he texts me first now. Please help me read his mind. It’s so confusing…

Reply August 8, 2014, 11:58 pm

Monica

AND… for future reference if things don’t work out with this guy, how DO I respond to the beginning where he’s feeding me all of that bull? I don’t want him to think I’m “hooked” but I also don’t want him to think I’m not interested.

Same question as above too…. How do I make him work for me without making him feel I’m not interested? Where is the fine line?

Reply August 9, 2014, 12:02 am

nev

Ooooor if a guy acts like this, I’m going to call him on it, before cutting things off. It’s just game playing, and not cool.

Reply August 5, 2014, 7:21 pm

renee

Ive been dateing a man for several years. He is a great guy and does everything
for me. Fixing my car, appliances and generally being there when I need him. My
grip is he does not make an effort to hug, kiss me or be romantic when he comes
over. The only time he is romantic, is when we are in bed. He doesn’t take me out
anymore. Makes excuses that he is too tired or that he spent so much money on
the stuff he bought me.

Reply June 3, 2014, 1:40 am

Em

Hello!
My question is this:
There is a guy I’ve know for about five years now and I’ve always had an attraction to him. However, I was under the impression he had a girlfriend. After finding out that he didn’t though, I was so conflicted because I wasn’t sure if I should ask him out. I’m a real traditional girl so I’m not big on asking guys out, I’d rather have them ask me. Yet, he didn’t seem to want to. Something kept on bugging me about it though and so I ended up going up to him one day and just asking him. He got really bashful and just seemed very hesitant. We exchanged numbers and later that even he came over to talk for a bit. It was nice just sitting around chatting and we talked about how I have liked him for some time and how he had liked me too but never thought to ask me out. He also was very bothered by the fact that I’m a few years younger (but completely legal). When he was getting ready to go we agreed to hang out again. He seemed really bothered by something and I kept asking what was wrong, but he simply continued to say ‘nothing’ repeatedly. After a few minutes of just standing around awkwardly he did it. He leaned in and gave me a kiss. It ended up being one of those really long and just tender kisses that basically takes your breathe away and makes you lightheaded. It definitely was NOT a first date kiss (and we weren’t even on a date!). Then he left. It hasn’t even been 24 hours so I understand not hearing from him and I don’t expect to heard from him for a few days, but I can’t help but feel extremely worried that he won’t. It’s just habit because of past failed relationships. My biggest concern is that he’s going to take this age thing too seriously (it’s only 4 years). I’m just curious, does it sound like he actually wants this? Or was it a one time ‘I really want to kiss you’ kind of thing? Comments are so greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Reply February 8, 2014, 12:10 pm

Virvi

You are very right Eric. It just happened to me. This was a long distance relationship, he already has visited me once. He “lives” in Florida but travels a lot because of his job and I am in California, met two years ago at work and began to flirt early this year. It was not official yet, just knowing each other. In this year he has acted both cold and hot, sometimes distant, but he sent messages almost every day via Whats App for almost a year, so I thought he was really into me, even though he meets a lot of other women because of his job trips and has confessed to that likes to flirt innocently, but that with me it was different (he told me that at the beginning of the year). He went out of his way in September to visit me for a weekend, that was very sweet.

We talked about spending thanksgiving weekend together. I was going to visit him in Florida, but then he came with the idea to go to Hawaii. I became very excited about going to Hawaii, but then he was traveled for some weeks to Africa and it became very hard to reach him to make plans, and I was trying to ask him about the plans so I could buy my ticket and felt ignored by him many times.

Then he called and told that his company offered him to move to London next year and was confused if accept or not, and that was very busy to go to Hawaii, but probably he could come to visit me in California but was going to confirm me in two days. Two days that became two weeks. I tried to not asking him again in order to not be needy, but was looking for Airfares everyday (silly me), in case I could visit him in Florida as the original plan.

Finally he arrived to Florida the sunday before thanksgiving and we could talk at the phone. He began to say that was very busy and tired, that sorry, but he had to cancel the plans.

I felt very bad, I was looking forward to spend the holiday with him. So during a call on Tuesday I finally told him how bad I felt about being ignored and finally stood up. THEN he told me that he felt very pressured by me asking about the plans, that I was expecting to much of him, practically told me that I was not his girlfriend, blah blah, and that is way he was also acting distant.

It was so humiliating that I told him that even though I don’t want to stop talking to him completely and we can remain friends, I was going to distance myself and not make any further plans to see him, that I thought BOTH wanted to see each other and now he was making it look like I was pushing him.

I accepted another invitation for thanksgiving, and now I stopped contacting him. He has sent a message every day saying hello and hoping my day is fine. I just have answered “Yes, thanks. Hope your day is fine too”. I am still very pissed off.

Reply December 1, 2013, 6:45 pm

Noelle

I’m going through a very similar situation…how did things work out? Im so pissed and my heart so heavy that I haven’t responded to his last message

Reply June 30, 2014, 1:57 pm

virvi

Fast forward 7 months, I met a good guy locally at the beginning if the year. He treats me well and we see each other 3 times a week. I still remain friends with the other guy but keeping my distance. That guy was not fully mature and was not that into me. I am glad I decided to move on.

Reply June 30, 2014, 2:09 pm

m

I’ve been reading your articles and I find them so enlightening. But I seriously need some advice. I’ve been exclusively dating a guy for 4months. He’s met my friends I’ve met his co-workers too. But recently his work has been quite hectic, he date half way and he has to do conference calls. On some occasions he even cancels last minute due to big projects at hand.

I appreciate when he does have time he does spend it with me, but recently in the last 3weeks I feel as though he’s withdrawing. He doesn’t make any effort in the relationship, I feel as though I’m the one who contacting him first all the time recently.

Plus to make it worse just last week I asked the big question. “How do your co-workers and friends see me. I’m I your gf now?”. I know the time was terrible, but he said ” I’m not ready to call you my gf yet”. I was confused so I asked him “do you like me”. Then he answered,”I think do”.

I was so upset with the last comment. Then things started to change he went to work that day, and only called me once to explain to me what got upto on Sat night. From then onwards the past 5 days I haven’t heard of him. No text or phone call.

I haven’t to contacted him this week either. I know my questions sound needy and he freaked out. Now, he’s withdrawing. But is there any way that things can go back to the way they were?

And what should I do? Please, please help me. I’ve been doing my own thing and focusing on myself. Because as you said in previous articles match his level commitment to yours. So that’s what I’m doing.

Reply June 8, 2013, 10:31 am

Anais

Hi I’m not sure how this turned out for you since I see it was a few months ago. I hope he turned around and if he didn’t, for the future:

” I’ve been exclusively dating a guy for 4months. ” then “How do your co-workers and friends see me. I’m I your gf now?”. I know the time was terrible, but he said ” I’m not ready to call you my gf yet”.

In other cases, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the relationship not being official before 4 months, which goes against some expert advice. I’ve seen a lot of couples decide to be “officially” bf and gf 4 to 6 months in. However here he isn’t going to change with you being available to him, don’t place your eggs in one basket if a guy hasn’t said you are bf and gf yet. Continue to be open to dating other men.

“I appreciate when he does have time he does spend it with me, but recently in the last 3weeks I feel as though he’s withdrawing. He doesn’t make any effort in the relationship, I feel as though I’m the one who contacting him first all the time recently.”

Since he acts busy, consider picking up more hobbies and plans without him so that you don’t feel you’re waiting for him and he’s always trying to fit you into his schedule. Until the relationship is official , it’s best to let a guy to always initiate contact, unless he’s extremely consistent it’s ok to contact him sometimes. So it’s good you stopped. Then you can see his effort.

I think at this point all you can do is back off completely and date others since it’s been a few days. Also it’s best to not initiate the “where is this relationship going” talk, or to ask him if he likes you, or what his co-workers think. It comes off approval seeking (even though I know you don’t intend to, you want answers!) If a man is dating you and bringing you into his world, he likes you on some level and is attracted on some level, so just always assume the best in that department. And just focus on increasing that attraction.

However I think it’s good to have a personal time table to walk away if you feel things are going a bit too slow to become “official” and you don’t want to waste more time. Next time you hear from him, tell him something like “I really enjoy your company and our dates were fun but I am looking for a boyfriend (key don’t say you need him to be your boyfriend) so I’m calling this off and I wish you all the best” be willing to walk away if he still isn’t “ready”. If he pursues that he’s interested, if not he isn’t serious enough.

Good luck!

Reply August 28, 2013, 1:36 pm

carebear1995

What is the difference between withdrawing and losing interest?

I met a guy online in early January of this year. After exchanging messages for a couple of weeks and a phone meeting, we met in person. It went really well. From that first meeting 3 weeks ago up until the week of Valentine’s Day, he would text me every day. Whether it was to say hi, tell me about his day, wish me a happy day, set up our next date, or send me silly videos or articles he thought I might like, we were in contact daily. He always initiated contact and asked me out. He made a lot of effort to see me. He always came to my side of town too. I only went to his side of town once. I never initiated contact because I didn’t want to seem needy or too eager (I was trying not to repeat past mistakes). And I only asked him to do something a couple of times. We ended up seeing each other at least 2x a week since meeting. Each time we saw each other we had a great time (he would always send a text later telling me how much he enjoyed our time together and was looking forward to the next time).

The last time I saw him (Saturday before V-Day), we spent the entire day and part of the evening together. It was a fantastic Saturday. We exchanged a few texts on Sunday. That was the last time he initiated contact. I didn’t contact him the following week because I know that V-day can be weird for people and I didn’t want to freak him out. I made plans to spend that evening with my girlfriends. The radio silence all week was puzzling to me though. I decided to text him the Friday after V-day telling him that it’s been a busy week and that although I’d be gone the weekend, that I would like to see him when I got back. I then asked if he’d be interested in meeting up after the weekend. He responded that he had been sick all week and that’d he be in touch. I left it at that. I’ve been advised and read articles online that playing it cool and give him space is the best way to handle it.

Did he lose interest or is he withdrawing? Did I mis-interpret this whole thing and he wasn’t that interested in the first place? To go from constant contact to nothing is confusing. I am very interested in seeing where this could go but I don’t want to scare him off by seeming needy or smothering. I’m hesitant to follow-up. I’m getting the feeling that I won’t hear back. I know it’s nothing I did. He’s a very busy and active person. And it’s quite possible he’s seeing many other girls too but he also told me that he removed himself from the online site as it became too much work and he didn’t have nice experiences with it. I just don’t know. At what point do I just let it go and accept that I won’t hear from him? A week? Two weeks? I decided that after he said he’d be in touch, I’d let him do that if he chooses. I won’t initiate contact with him again, even though I do want to see how he’s been. I am disappointed and I know there are plenty of other men out there but I really like him and I would also like to know if this is worth pursuing.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Reply February 20, 2013, 1:25 am

Jessie

I am almost in the same situation.. Pls help.. I met this guy online abt 8-9 months ago he lives across the country. At first i thought he would never come fly to see me but he did.. And thought that would be the last i would see him and made contact with him.. But aftr 3 months he asked me to fly to seattle where he lives so we could get to know more abt each other. So i did. We text everyday. We call each other from time to time and we skype too whenever were both off the next days.. Everything seems so perfect.. I even flew there again last new year to spend the holiday with him.. Hes a busy guy he goes to work and has school aftr work twice a day.. After work and on his days off he just do his hw. Hes going to school for video game design and they really have a lot of hw. When we started talking way before he already told me his not aftraid to be alone that kinda worries me but i didnt pay much attention abt it.. He had a relationship that lasted for 5 yrs but they broke up coz his ex wants to get married and he wasnt ready..so i was totally being understanding with him.. I always tell him how everything will be ok when hes stressed out abt work and school.. Hes schedule to fly here in 2 weeks. Last monday we were in usual routine.. Texting from the min he and i woke up and till night.. Again he told me he had a rough day at work and his boss is asking him to do overtime again.. I told him in 2 weeks he’ll be done in this school semester and will have a vacation with me but he texted me and told
Me that the reason why hes so stressed lately is because he wants to end our relationship.. He said he dont think its fair for him to keep seeing me when he dont think hes gonna fall for me.. But couple months ago he said hes falling for me thats why he get jealous with my guy friends.. I told him i’ll give him space if thats what he needs and wants.. I asked him if im stressing him or if i did anything wrong.. He said i did absolutely nothing wrong and he wish im not such a nice person so this wouldnt be hard.. He said he know it hurts and it hurts him a lot too.. His finals would be over in 2 weeks and thats when hes suppose to fly here.. What should i do? I havent text him or call him and same as him. the last time he told me is hes gonna miss me.. And that really broke my heart :( should i call him aftrr his finals and ask him all the questions i want to ask? Coz part of me is saying probably hes just too stressed with work and school.. Thats why he ended it? He also said he doesnt have time to have gf now and thats what we become basically.. But i dont ask him to do much for me.. When he tells me he gonna wait for me to get home so we could skype i always tell
Him he doesnt have to that he could sleep coz he has school.. We text each other every min or hour but hes the one who started it. Before if i dont reply he’ll get all worried and will call and leave a voice message.. They told
Me to leave him alone that probably he’ll call aftr his finals but i have this feeling he wont and its killing me :(

Reply March 1, 2013, 12:28 am

Melanie

Thank you so very very much for posting this article, it was really helpfull :)

Reply January 21, 2013, 11:32 am

blue

Ok here’s one for ya… Guy I went out with a few years ago, a couple dates, did sleep together, he sort of kept in touch but not really and honestly I was new to the dating game as had been in a long relationship so it didn’t bother me too much that things sort of peetered off… over the years we ran into each other a few times, traded numbers, IMs etc etc chatted a bit, nothing came of it. About a month and a half ago, started chatting again by chance… went out again, had sex again… and then he starts IMing me everyday for a month or so… he said he wants us to “talk”. When we were out on date he told me that he has been through some very messy relationships, prepared to be alone for rest of his life, but lonely too and would like to be married again… so we have talked a lot, he has been very open about things. I thought his messaging me indicated a real interest in me but then he told me if some other guy is making more effort than he is that I should go out with him, which I have done, and then he seems to get a bit upset about it and asks me why can’t i just go out with my girlfriends? ugh meanwhile he’s extremely busy, I have asked to see him probably 4 or 5x over the last month and a half and he explains all that he’s busy doing, major work committments and family issues. says that we are “friends” yet he hits on me sometimes. Anyway, we usually message everyday and it got to the point where I was messaging him more, so I stopped this weekend and I haven’t heard from him in 2 days. The thing is is that when we were talking, he told me that he thought a serious relationship should start out as friends, then dating, then live together then look at marriage… that he jumped into things too fast in the past with exes. So I don’t know what the deal is with him. It just sucks because I honestly thought we had something here, he really has opened up so much to me, always writes back immediately, lots of joking around, lots of serious talk as well… I’m just trying to give him space at the moment. but I also think this is a dead end situation. not sure. we figured out our schedules and basically due to both of us being out of town different times we wouldn’t be able to see each other for another 2 weeks… but he makes no plan for that… thoughts anyone? is he into me or not??

Reply December 16, 2012, 9:23 pm

wiser

Blue, I am really having a hard time understanding what the real issue is here. I mean why are you questioning at this stage if he’s into you or not? From what you’ve described here, the man has been very open and honest about where he is in life. What he hopes for his future and how he perceives the progression. Ths is actually very healthy. Even if his comments come to contradict his actions at times…this is very healthy for him. This is not your process. The question you should really be asking yourself is Why are you so into him or IF you’re really into him as you think you are. Then ask yourself if your push for more than what he’s willing to give right now is healthy. If he wants to be friends, and you want to be in his life, then just be friends (no sex). You have to check your motives here. Also understand that your friendship won’t cause him to see you differently. I just personally think there is too much emphasis on him and not enough on what you want and think and feel. I don’t even get that you REALLY like this guy. He just so happen to show you attention after you got out of a long-term relationship and so you jumped into this without thinking. STOP THAT. So if he’s communicating with you and you’re ok with a slow paced “possibility” then see what comes about in this time you’re unable to see one another and if you’re not then take him off of your priority list and worry less about whether he’s into you.

Reply December 23, 2012, 4:52 pm

blue

Wiser,
I appreciate your comments. It’s been almost a year since all that happened and it didn’t go anywhere. I DID take him off my priority list but he didn’t like that, he knew I was going out with other guys (accepting dates) and he got upset about it. I also wouldn’t give him any real flirting, I was trying to keep it as “just friends” which is what he said he wanted. and I felt I had every right to keep my options open, but apparently he didn’t. I told him that I know he likes me and he says he does but that I keep going out with other guys… and I said but you said you wanted to be friends!! so basically he got sort of nasty with me and it ended. I think he wanted me to wait around as a friend, continue to mess around with him and not date other guys while he figured out if he was interested enough to pursue something. I wasn’t interested in doing that. However, if I had done things his way, might have worked out. who knows.
btw I did REALLY like this guy but I’ve learned that isn’t such a smart thing to do, you just end up getting hurt in the end, and I was hurt that he was behaving this way because I knew that he liked me too. anyway…

Reply October 14, 2013, 5:34 pm

J

Please help. I am so confused.
I have been with this guy for 7 months. Everything has been perfect. He is amazing. He always has been extremely good to me, and I could always tell he really cared about me. He has been traveling a lot with his work lately, and we see each other every week, or even less. I have been fine with that as I am a busy girl anyway. About a month ago, my dog had gotten really sick. He was so sweet and sent me flowers and called/texted/emailed while he was out of town.
Over Thanksgiving he was going to egypt to spend time with his family (he is from there), and we spent some nice quality time together before he left). Over the holiday I had to put my dog down. It was the hardest thing i have ever had to do. My man was very comforting. he was texting and called often. I was with my family and they helped keep my mind off of it, and kept me busy. When I came home without her (my dog), I saw all of her things and just felt such pain. Just a couple hours later I picked him up from the airport, and he was just his normal self kissing me telling me how much he missed me. He brought me back presents, told me he brought back some bread to make me an egyptian breakfast, etc.

He went off to unpack and take a shower and we ordered in and everything was normal. Then we made out and he wanted to have sex. I told him I just wasn’t myself and didn’t want to.

I could suddenly tell he was disappointed. He sat on the other side of the couch, and didn’t talk to me. When I left he wouldn’t kiss me but cheeked me. I let him have his space for two days because I knew he had his kids those days. I finally texted him “hi, how are you” and got no response. The next morning I called and he didn’t answer. Finally yesterday I emailed him to let him know I was thinking of him and his family and hoped they were okay with everything going on in Egypt. He said thanks for the thoughts, that he was just sorting through some stuff.

I wasn’t sure why he was suddenly so cold to me after our perfect little relationship. I texted him again apologizing if I had hurt his feelings the other night etc… and he said that no apology was necessary and that he has a lot on his plate with work, the kids, etc, and he needs time to reflect. I was confused and said I apologize in advance, but i am confused. What happened? He said he apologized too but nothing happened, he just needed some space to deal with some critical issues. I am still bewildered so I just said I understand I am sorry I didn’t realize. Are we still good? And i haven’t received a reply. What could have gone wrong? I am heartbroken, I am already dealing with my pup’s death and now I feel like he is ending things with me. I never told him this, but I love him, and I really felt like he was the one for me. Any advise is appreciated.

Reply November 29, 2012, 10:24 am

wiser

The issue at hand from what you shared is that…from his perspective you’re all take and no give. That is hard for a man to digest. Its hard for anyone to digest. He has comforted you despite his busy schedule and obligations and he hasn’t burdened you with his emotional stuff. The night he comes to you to retreat (sex) you couldn’t get out of your own hurt and love him back. If you two weren’t sexually active before then I’d think he was crazy. In this case you put the loss of your dog over the present. You put the loss of your dog over the comfort he has provided you. Not only did you reject him but you conveyed he and his efforts weren’t enough to move you past or even through it. It is very important to a man who cares about you that he is able to assist you through pain and hardship. How you show him his efforts are well received is by openly receiving him. It’s how he connects. Right now he probably sees you as selfish and unappreciative. What is there to do now is reflect. Stop apologizing and reflect. During this hard time of yours he had to have said something to you in terms of his needs. Identify it and provide it. It could be something so small as him complaining about the fabric of his socks. Go out and find socks that are softer and more resilient and send them to him. Will it fix it? Certainly not over night but he is not going to receive your words right now. And if you never told him you loved him before….now is not the time to tell him. Just be cool and realze you have been selfish. Want to reconcile start considering his needs and wants too regardless of what is going on in your life because he seemed to have handled your woes for you.

Reply November 30, 2012, 11:55 am

J

Wiser,
Thank you for your response. I understand what you are saying. I do sound selfish. I did tell him on Thanksgiving that I am thankful for him in my life. I appreciate everything he does to make me smile, and everything he is. I reminded him on Sun on the way home from the airport that I really meant what I said, and he said “i know”. I want him back, and I feel awful if it came off that I was selfish. He should know by now that I am anything but that. Should I try to talk with him? I know he is going on a trip to Belgium on Sun for work. On this last trip his luggage tag broke. He complained about that. He asked for space, and I dont want to cause further damage, so how do I go about contacting him without doing so. Do I tell him that I realize how selfish I was and that I was too wrapped up in my own hurt that I didn’t realize his needs, and his hurt? I also know he is really worried about his country right now.

How do I attempt to make things right? Do I send a note? Do I go to his house before he leaves to give it to him?

Reply November 30, 2012, 5:26 pm

wiser

My personal opinion is to be present without being present. Dont try and talk him into forgiving you. I fall victim to this too but they really get anxious or some other negative feeling when we panic and go into fix it mode. Also understand that him “knowing” how you doesnt negate how you made him feel. So athough you think he should know your heart…he also feels you should know his needs. With that said…you can always buy him a snazzy tag…make it thoughtful and leave it at his doorstep if its accessible. You can also leave a funny note that is very short and personal that says i messed up but gotta love me. Now is not the time to be heavy…he needs you to be light. Dont ring the doorbell…dont call…just leave it where you know he will find it. If Youre secure in the relationship i would even suggest not saying who its from. Leave it to him to take it in and make of it what he will. This is now about him and not about what you feel. I will admit i am a spoiled woman. My guy does an amazing job to make me feel special and sometimes i miss the cue on how he needs it back. It does put a strain in the relationship but only for a short period. Expect to make mistakes and expect him to pull back. Its not fair but only the men who are comfortable with their femme side will verbalize the hurt. Others will just pull away to access the situation. You need to let him do that and create positive energy in the meantime. I cant imagine this being the reason you break up. If you do then take time to consider perhaps you have been more selfish through the 7 months than you thought. Women we feel and we are so quick to vomit those feelings to the guy…why??? Because professing it also makes us feel good.
But your guy needs you to act more and speak less….at least that is the lesson i learned through my own relationship. I hope this helps.

Reply December 1, 2012, 2:27 am

Faiza

Me and my bf been dating for almost 3 years. Everything is great and we talk thru whatever problems we may face.
Now when he stresses about work and all, it sucks him in. His mind controls him completely . He feels at the moment he doesn’t want to be with anyone and fight his own battles then suddenly this first time it happened, months ago… i felt like he was ignoring and got me worried cuz he wud t say a wlrd when i asked him how he was doing and all… it was anout a few days this lasted. he texted me inviting me to red lobster and I said okay. We went and he said at the moment he didn’t feel the same after all the stress and hugs me saying he is afraid to lose me and I mean so much to him. I said what? I wanna be supportive in anything he goes through. I guess when he needed the space, he was okay .

Now last Sunday, we were fine when we met. He gets paid bi weekly. He got paid Friday. Then Sunday we were okay. Later Monday he didn’t reply or anything and then on Tuesday he said “I’m so stressed cuz I got paid and now I only have literally no money in my account cuz I had to owe ppl money frm the past and help grandma. $5 in my acct and 3.50 on my metro card This is gonna be a two shitty weeks for me.” I tried to calm him down over text and said plz relax babe. He said “it’s easy for U to say when ur not the one dealing with it.” That got hme mad and I said I pay tuition and then I do pay other things so we all go thru this phase but why beat yourself over it. If u do need help; and I have extra cash, il give u. But don’t say I don’t understand.
Now Wednesday oct 24. Was my BIRTHDAY. I came over to his place and didn’t wanna do anything like jus spend time with him. I kept thanking him for taking the day off on my bday because it meant a lot to me and he makes me happy. He smiled and almost teared.
Later we fell asleep and it felt good. But he kept tearing saying he didn’t give me the best birthday ever and thinks he’s a failure at everything. I said wait what? I’m like don’t say that. Wen u gibe ur best , u don’t realize you do and it makes me happy. And when he asked for the hoodies a month ago from my job, I said oh I seen some that I love. He later snapped and said Dont buy me anything. And it made me feel bad. He never had a problem with me getting something I see and I buy it. After the thing he said about not having money for 2 weeks, he acted different.
My gf and I wen out, he texted me saying happy bday; sorry I cudnt make it better. I said 3 years is amazing and my bday too. Later he says be safe and gnite.
On my bday, when he was dropping me to the train, he said oh u don’t Iike walking with me and I said its not that. He’s like I feel nauseous. And then I said u shud go home. And he got upset and said no Ill drop u all the way to the train.

– Thursday comes, he didn’t write much when I asked how is he. I’m like I’m sorry if idid something. He said “you didn’t do anything. My bad I ain’t say anything, it’s just me.”

– Friday comes and he responds less but said I love u and miss u

– Saturday comes; he texts “hey I miss you. I’ve been thinking of taking a break from everything.” I’m like I respect that but what I do? I said ur stress takes over ur mind then u may be fine again. Later he said “I’m sorry I haven’t been feeling the same lately and I’m sorry if I’m hurting you by saying this its just how I feel :T ”
I said what do u mean by that? I’m like ur so vague when u stress. U say u love me and then a break fr everything including ur fam. And suddenly you say that. I’m like how that makes me feel when my bday passed by and u said u haven’t been feelin the same lately.
I’m like u saying we over and he didn’t reply. I was jus confused and thought he was being fake and I cudnt believe him. Cuz he said that.
Idk what I’m comprehending. It was so vague.
Then I was upset and furious.

– yday I texted him saying be safe and have a good night. I suggest we need to talk Friday after work just in case. Cuz of the hurricane sandy, i wished Him safe . But no replies.
Friday we all get paid too. I open so wanted to talk to him.
I’m so confused . And he didn’t explain himself. He’s bad in words and says he suck at everything. Ppl say he loves u and misses u: his stress makes him feel diff at the moment. But idk it was vague. The first time he did but this time less frequent texts and its vague.
Today I didn’t text. WAs thinking of texting him Thursday.
I’m confused and i care about him.’he doesn’t want me t worry about him when he’s stress and then he says things that makes me feel like I’m a horrible gf and he said I’m not. He brings himself down a lot when he can’t do something then the space. Idk

Vague idk!
I’m sad but please help!!

Reply October 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

wiser

That was pretty intense. Im not sure i really understand your question. I also assume you and your boyfriend are no older than 25 yrs old. What did stand out was the planning around pay days that you mentioned a few times. I dont understand why that is significant to the problem. At any rate i will do my best here. I understand the lost feeling when your bf is going through something and you feel you are doing your best to reassure him. I have also learned that its not my job to fix his problems or boost him. It can only give him the space he needs, the ear he needs, sometimes Damn the world with him, and at times remind him how competent he is. You cant boost his self worth. The men i know dont operate the way we do. The best thing you can do is just to is carry things on as business as usual. Say you understand when he gets down on himself. What is great is that he hasnt blamed you for his lack. He seems to want to do for you but the catch is to not compare your experiences with his or fix his problems for him. I guess this would be your time to shine by suggesting activites for you two to do that he really enjoys and that he is great at and wont cost him a lot of money. If you love him putthe focus on fun and less on his despair. He will repair himself best this way..and appreciate you for it. Do offer your advice if he asks for it. If you two are at a place where he wants some time apart then give it to him willingly. Love is not selfish and he will resent you if you hold on too tight. I strongly believe that if you two have something real you will find your way back to each other. Right now you may have to do an unselfish act and just tell him you agree and focus on you as he regains his self esteem.

Reply October 29, 2012, 4:58 pm

Faiza

I was thinking yesterday and asked him what time we will be meeting so we can discuss this because I’m confused. He was being vague.

I asked if we friends or am I still ur gf? He said no and I don’t know. It’s just how I feel. I know how I feel but I don’t know how to say things. I don’t mean to hurt you or make you suffer :T

He said it like that and I said huh. But hopefully we will meet and talk it out. Idk he keeps saying everything is his fault when it is not.
I always tell myself maybe I suck in this and I get sad :(

Reply November 3, 2012, 8:01 am

Faiza

We broke up yesterday and he jus confuses me and been tripping
Idk what happened but he gets mean then says other type of things and I don’t deserve this. I’m not a bad person. He says he’s horrible and he hurts everyone’s feelings so he don’t care

It was so vague and random
I’m hurt and upset

Reply November 4, 2012, 10:39 pm

Mel

I’ve been good friends with this guy for almost 4 years. He’s a super goofy and affectionate person, really down to earth which I love. He was overseas in the Peace Corps for 2 years in Latvia then a few extra months in Eastern Europe. Through all this time, we’d talk every 1-2 months on average, he’d call on my birthday every year, on Christmas, and we’d talk online every weekish. Granted, he has several female friends (more than most guys), but from what I’ve been told I was one of 5 people he kept in touch with the most (me and 4 guy friends) in his time abroad. I never read into ANYTHING, bc from what I observe, he has a really affectionate way of relating to everyone, and I typically didn’t think of him beyond friends. He came back from Europe this June, called like normal, and was excited to see me. But then, when it was obvious I was excited to see him, he flaked out on plans. When I finally saw him, we made out and he initiated it. And after, it’s like nothing happened. Haha, it’s obvious to me he’s not actually interested, but since he’s my friend (and yes, I sort of like him) I still feel like it’s a little confusing and unresolved. Any thoughts?

Reply October 17, 2012, 10:30 am

wiser

Ladies, why do we leave so much to question? I get this article and agree with it almost 100 percent but i think most of us are not reading the lines or between them. It is ok to question the guy youre seeing if youre not clear on things. It is undignified to beg and plead and nag. Men make up their own ideas of what is needy and what isnt based on their history. You just need to be sure youre ok with your level of attachment. If things are going too fast, slow it down or he will for you. THIS DOESNT ALWAYS MEAN HE ISNT INTERESTED. It could mean HE is. We get so stary eyed and filled with fantasy that we push too much and never stop to enjoy the moment and yes to most guys this will set off their needy alarms. I have been guilty of it too. It is however your womanly duty and obligation to yourself to set boundaries and ask questions. Playing it cool doesnt mean you go mute. It simply means dont freak out and start fixing things. It may noy be broken.
Mel, if you need clarification then do yourself the favor and ask your male friend “how does he see you.” If he wants to know why just tell him you are curious. This is very low pressure on him so if he cant answer right away it will definitely get him thinking. Youre not anyones play toy or interim or trial run so own what it is you want and that is clarification. At the point he tells you he thinks youre cool as a friend then you let him know your boundaries so you wont be in a state of question again. Not only that…he will have a better understanding of how to address you if his feelings change.

Reply October 17, 2012, 4:32 pm

Anais

^Wiser, I agree with stating to her friend what her boundaries are. I’m gathering that in this case, Mel, you enjoy his company but don’t feel comfortable kissing anyone who sees you as a “friend to hang out with” and aren’t dating perse, so yes he should know that. It’s key to communicate value, confidence and that we are putting ourselves first. For this, I like the approach to keep the focus on what we want for ourselves without making it all about him. Another example if a boyfriend is what you want, but he’s still being wishy washy say something to the effect of how you enjoy his company but you’re not looking for a fwb/make out buddy, you’re looking for a long term relationship/boyfriend at this point in your life (see how you didn’t say that bf needs to be filled by him in particular?).

With that said, I disagree with the words choice suggested to find out where his interest level is. IMO to ask something like “how do you see me” will likely communicate to a guy “I’m asking for your approval. ” because the statement is focusing on his opinion of the her, rather than what she wants for herself in general. I strongly believe that guys won’t hear those words the same way we do. When it comes to matters like this, they don’t want to feel like whatever the we express, is all about them. ie., you need something from them in particular.

Whatever you decide to do, Mel, good luck.

Reply October 19, 2012, 12:21 pm

wiser

I agree that we should always take the stance of going for what we want without looking for the guy to decide first. The thing here is that she didnt give me the impression she wants more but the interaction they had confused her. I will disagree that asking a guy how he see you translates to looking for approval. I only speak from experience and after spending 18 years with nothing but men what translates to “looking for approval” is actually when we go with the flow or ask questions specific as in…do you think Im pretty or smart or even seek a compliment. Just like coming right out and saying I want a boyfriend or a husband even though you didnt say it had to be him can throw him off to think it is him. Its all in the way you communicate it. Since he is her friend it should be a relatively easy conversation. A conversation involves two people and i feel its better to ask questions than to 1. Assume and 2. Make it a shut case. I guess Im diplomatic in that way and it has proven most beneficial for me also. I dont claim to be a relationship expert because well Im not. I do stand by the notion conversations need to be had. even when you formulate the right words things can be misinterpreted. This is why questions are important its simply involving his point of view not seeking approval.

Reply October 19, 2012, 2:54 pm

Mel

Good points, both of you ladies. Yes, I 10000% agree with making it about your needs. Guys are likely to recoil when you A) say things in a critical tone B) get all analytical on them.

But the fact is that sometimes they do indeed need to be called out, or asked for clarification. My friend is always very affectionate with me in how we communicate, and I know he does like me for WHO I am, but then his actions are not nearly as attentive. Making out in general isn’t a huge deal to me, but it’s the CONTEXT—-we’ve kept in significant touch for a few years, and he knows I have affection for him. I don’t know if he senses I “LIKE” him, but I still feel like he’s been inconsiderate—considering our general friendship/relationship.

Again, making out in general? Not a huge deal. But I think in a close-ish friendship, it’s silly to pretend it made NO difference. And he wants to be all chummy in conversation like normal, and it makes me feel bad.

October 20, 2012, 2:37 pm

Gisele

The page wouldn’t let me respond to your last comment Anais, so I had to start anew. Well, I have decided not to contact him. It just feels like the right thing to do. After realizing that we probably didn’t have a future anyway…it just doesn’t seem right to put my dignity on the line. Also, in retrospect this article is so right; I have experienced trying to mend a relationship by asking direct questions in hopes of ‘clearing things up’ and reverting the relationship to it’s original blissful state. It just doesn’t work. If the guy felt inclined to express his emotions, fix things, and start spending more time together… he would. Men go after what they want. It’s their natural tendency. This guy isn’t doing that, and I have to accept that. It just wasn’t meant to be, and I am feeling just fine with that today. Nobody likes rejection (whatever form), my ego was desperate for an answer yesterday. But on to the next today!!! P.S. If he does end up contacting in the future I will respond to this post. Just so the rest of you can see how this saga turned out.

Reply October 16, 2012, 2:56 pm

Anais

Hey Gisele, I’m glad to hear that you made that decision and I totally get what you’re saying. Good luck :-)

Reply October 16, 2012, 4:55 pm

Gisele

I am so happy to have stumbled upon this site. It answered a lot of questions for me. I’m just hoping you can give a little insight to my particular situation:

I was very casually dating a guy for a couple months. At first I wasn’t even aware he was trying to date me, I though he just wanted to be friends. The first few times he was a bit flaky, but I didn’t think much of it because I wasn’t even sure if I liked him anyway. Plus, I was guilty of being flaky myself. He was consistent with the text messaging, and as we got to know each other I realized he really was pursing me with all of his affection, and kind words. I started to really like him and reciprocated his affection; however, I never really gave into his mush- talk because I’m very protective of my heart. Later, I started to notice that when we were in a group setting he would act kind of moody and ignore me. The only conclusion I could draw from this – is that I wasn’t giving him enough attention?? Well after our last time hanging out, he has been MIA: like a good 5 days between each contact. I haven’t questioned him about the falling out at all. I’m worried maybe I was too cold? I was the last person to initiate contace, and that convo was very polite but very short. I refuse to contact him again. What the heck went wrong?

Reply October 15, 2012, 4:22 pm

Anais

Hi Giselle,

From my perspective, you weren’t too cold. maybe he wasn’t super interested to begin with which would mean you did a good thing not giving into his “mush talk” and saved yourself from investing too much too soon. Was he ever calling or just texting? Was he only pursuing you with kind words and affection, what did his actions say? Flaking out usually doesn’t happen when a guy is really interested. And it doesn’t really matter that you had been flaky too since you weren’t all that into him at first. When he is really interested he will make sure he sees you when he says he wants to.

Reply October 15, 2012, 4:37 pm

Gisele

Thanks for your insight! He never called, just text me practically all day…that eventually dropped to a single conversation in the evening. When we were together he was always a gentleman and attentive, except for in a party setting. It’s this wishy-washy behavior that has me confused and blaming myself for not being more forward about my positive feelings toward him. I have pretty much deduced ‘he’s just not that into me.’ And that’s okay….I just don’t want to feel like I did something to cause the freeze out.

Reply October 15, 2012, 5:16 pm

Gisele

I should clarify he was a gentleman and attentive…except for when we were at a huge social gathering. I mean he was introducing me to his friends right away and seemed like he really wanted to get to know me. Things seem to have gone awry in such a short amount of time. Kind of mind-blowing.

Reply October 15, 2012, 5:20 pm

Anais

Yeah I hear you. I read somewhere that men reveal themselves a lot with the way they behave when they are away (e.g. texting vs calling sometimes too, following through with plans etc) versus how they act on the date… And I agree with that theory as I’ve experienced the same thing. They’d seem so lovestruck and way too excited when you’re together but then after they just send texts here and there or they become wishy washy.

Reply October 15, 2012, 5:22 pm

Gisele

Makes sense. I guess he really is revealing who he really is/his intentions toward me. Now I feel foolish for even posting this. Thanks for helping me sort this all out & confirming what I suspected! Guys aren’t really that complicated if you take their actions at face value.

October 15, 2012, 5:28 pm

wiser

Look it has been my experience that calling to find out is the best thing to do. You cant say you dont care because youre on this forum. Its one thing to read and keep it moving but you inquired therefore you care. It is ok to care just like it is very womanly to give him a call to find out what is going on with him. Not all men are the same. I have been dealing with mine for 4 years and he still perplexes me. He is a very strong and capable man but he is also very sensitive and his feelings are easily hurt. He is more protective of his heart than i could ever be of mine. My point is sometimes they respond the way they do because they do like you and the only way to know for sure is to ask direct questions or to take a leap yourself. It sounds like you arent as sure of your own emotions to be thinking for him. I mean no disrespect here but men are people too and they have the same range of emotions as we do. So if you were flakey and nonchalantly he could have taken that as rejection also. Again…i say jusy call and ask. The worst that can happen is he 1. doesn’t answer or 2. asks you to not call him again. In both cases you got a definite answer. Best of luck.

Reply October 15, 2012, 5:47 pm

Gisele

Hi Wiser,
I can appreciate what you’re saying here. I agree that men have a full range of emotions. I did contact him last. It ended up being a super brief conversation about nothing really. He wasn’t reciprocating or engaging in the conversation, and seemed really uninterested in talking to me. Do you really think I should contact him yet again to find out what’s going on? Won’t he think I’m an idiot for not being able to read his subtle “get lost” signs?

Reply October 15, 2012, 6:41 pm

wiser

What is not clear to me is the actual conversation you had. I dont think its necessary to tell us either but here is my take on things….if you want to know then call and ask. Just be sure you know what you are asking. Does itake you look desperate? Not unless you are begging. Will he think youre an idiot? Does it really matter? If youre ok with the assumption he isnt into you and dont even care about a friend.ship then move on. My point is though, we put so much responsibility on the guy to pursue and to chose and to be assertive but those things are required of us too. You asked where it went wrong so Im just covering your portion of the story. Id say it went wrong when you neglected to ask him what happened because you were concerned. Could he have spoken up…absolutely but you called him. I personally wouldnt think any less of you if you called him to simply find out if you offended him in any way but only if you truly cared. If not then just let it go and the next person you encounter give yourself permission to ask the right questions.

Reply October 15, 2012, 8:44 pm

Anais

Gisele, my honest take on it is that you should leave it alone so I agree with your sentiments that you picked up he wasn’t reciprocating or engaging in the convo. When just dating, not in a relationship it’s a bit different because he hasn’t invested anything in just dating. The best thing to do when a guy stops calling or he disappears is nothing. There is no point in asking him why. If he isn’t investing , there is no sense in investing in him. You already mentioned something to him and got an unclear reply. If you go after him and want or demand an explanation, you will just push him further away. Some men resurface in time and then perhaps you can have another chance to reconnect, or you won’t want him anymore. In the past I’ve been the one to always “what’s going on” and it never worked, always pushed them away further. When I said nothing, they’d come back and I decided I didn’t want them anymore by that time. Guys don’t hear the words when you ask what’s going, they just think you’re being “needy”. I know it sounds ridiculous so it took time for me to accept but I’ve seen it’s true. When you do nothing, that’s when they are more likely to come back.

October 16, 2012, 11:35 am

Ericka

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost three years. Recently he had to go out of state for a few weeks, work related. Well he met a girl and developed certain feelings for her. He tells me he cares about her and worries. I understand him being a good friend, but just recently, he told me how she made him upset when she said she wanted to “just be friends” which made me upset, because he is dating me. I asked him if he still loves me, but he says he is confused. He says he would do anything for me, but that right now he doesn’t know what he wants. He told me that if we take a few weeks or months to take our relationship back a step (less phsycial, more getting to know one another…again) he might figure out what he wants. I’m scared he will come to me and tell me he doesn’t love me. I just want him to be happy and I feel like I failed. He use to be okay with his image, sure we are both over weight, but we tried our best with it, and now he wants to starve himself and loss weight. He goes out of state sometimes to hang out with her and another guy, and I recently found out that his friends made a bet with each other which led to her kissing him and he felt bad about it. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to loose him, but I want him happy. I guess even if that means we split up. I don’t want to tell him not to see he friends, I just don’t know if I can trust the situation.

Reply October 5, 2012, 2:59 pm

wiser

Dont let him figure it out for you. Is this the kind of situation you want? After three years he can “just” meet someone and all of a sudden be confused? I hope you found your courage or bought some or drank it at least enough to not be scared over his decision simply because you decided this is not the ideal situation for you. Know your worth.

Reply October 15, 2012, 8:57 pm

Kazza

WOW I just read this article and it hit the nail on the head! I met a guy 2 monthes ago, we texted for awhile before meeting up again. At the beginning it was “You’re beautiful, amazing, perfect package” etc. and I was resistant because I have a hard time trusting. After we hung out a few times, I started to get comfortable and text him back things like that. And that’s when he started “pulling away”. I noticed it right after a baseball game we went to where we held hands and were touchy the whole night. A few days later (after he had already started pulling away) he came over and we fooled around, and a few days after that he played baseball with my team and then afterwards we had sex. We hung out one more time and had sex again, but at my house and he did meet my parents. I am thinking now it was maybe too much too soon (6 times together in 2 weeks). Since the last time I saw him he has been working 17 hour days, and then went away on a boys vacation to the States so he didn’t have cell reception. He messaged me the day after he got back and we have chatted a little bit. I asked him to go for coffee yesterday but he had other plans. I did say I’d like to see him sometime soon and he said “Definitely!”
But now what I’m thinking is like the article says, play it cool. Don’t text him. Don’t ask him to hang out. Let him cool his jets and come to me. I hope having sex with him so soon didn’t change his mind, but I know alot of people do it was quicker. I do like him alot, and he knows that. But I guess now is time to bite the bullet (even if it hurts!!) and let him pursue me. Thanks Eric for this article.

Reply September 6, 2012, 11:15 am

Christina

I posted on this blog months ago and I have learned a lot from my previous feelings. When someone walks away or withdrawals it is not our job to figure out WHY but give them the space to do so. Yes it hurts but maybe we are never fully supposed to understand. Sometimes they come back and sometimes they don’t. There will always be others to meet and let in but I have taken a good look at men who have pulled away and decided its their loss not mine. No matter how bad it hurts, pain is truly only temporary.

Reply September 1, 2012, 5:28 pm

Paola

I was seeing a guy for about a month. Things were going great, perhaps moved a little fast (3rd base). He left for vacation for a whole month and barely had internet access. The day he was leaving we met up in the morning. Then in the afternoon, he stopped by to hug me goodbye on his way to the airport. He called me two days later but never called me again. While he was there he texted me twice and I said hi on facebook once and small talked a little. I found out through our friend in common (his bff) that he was coming back and that he called her many times while he was away. I was with my friend the night he came back and she told me that they were going to hang out that night. He knew I was with her but didn’t even text me to say hi. He’s been back for two days and I haven’t heard from him yet. I am dry, maybe my texts were cold. He might either think I’m not interested anymore and that things cooled off or he may just be a jerk and not care at all.

I wonder what I should do next. Maybe text him something simple in a couple of days? Or even call? Or move on?

Reply September 1, 2012, 3:55 pm

L

Thank you for this article. It helped but I am still confused about what to do with my situation. I am 28. I have been dating an older man (just turned 40) for the past 6 weeks. He has 2 kids & has been divorced for about 5 years. Things were going really well until last week. He was texting a lot in the beginning & being attentive & sweet. I have met his friends & his son (in a casual environment). He has told his friends we are dating and we have slept together several times. Then this last week he has been acting strange. It started last Friday. He texted me after he finished moving his daughter off to college & asked if I had plans that night. We talked about maybe getting together but nothing concrete, he said he wasnt sure if he wanted to go out & he was crabby, so I just told him I’d check after my workout session. I texted to see what the plan was & he was out with a friend. He asked what I was going to do & when I asked if they wanted to meet up, no response. He texted me at 1am and said sorry & asked me to come over. I did not. I told him I was already in bed & it was too late. He replied ok. The very next morning he texted & apologized. Said him & his friend got carried away, it was rude of him & not him to do that. I played it cool,told him I appreciated the apology but I’d give him a pass just this time because he hadn’t done anything like that before. He replied “ok good, that was assholeish”. He texted me later that night & seemed fine. Then nothing from him Sunday or Monday. I texted him Tuesday morning & he replied right away. We chatted briefly & when I asked if he had plans Wednesday he stopped replying. I waited all day until after work & texted again to see if he wanted to do something. He replied back saying sorry he had been busy & said Yes Wednesday will work. We set a date. Then he texted me that night just to chat, he had his son & wanted to tell me how his son downloaded a song on his iPod & it was the song I had just introduced him to last week when we were together. Anyway, he ended up texting me a few hours before our date & said he had to get his son tonight because his ex had to work, so he apologized & asked for a raincheck. I again played it cool & said it was ok & to just let me know when he was free. He replied explaining how she just started a new shift working midnights so it throws his schedule off. I told him I understood & I’d just let him get ahold of me then & he said ok. Well no word Thursday & then he texted me Friday and just said hi, what are you doing tonight? I told him I was meeting up with friends. Then we just texted very briefly with him calling me a nerd & me calling him a weirdo. (it’s a name calling game we play) but now I’m sitting here on Sunday still no word. Should I try contacting him one more time? Is he just freaking out? Or should I be taking this as a sign he’s no longer interested? The last time we were together everything was as usual & he talked about getting together again. Any advice would help. Thanks.

Reply August 26, 2012, 10:23 am

asha

I usually do not read this type of stuff. But this is great advice, thank you!

Reply August 5, 2012, 2:24 am

Silver

Hi Eric,

So i have been talking to this guy for a couple weeks and he was so sweet he would messsage me in the morning and sometimes i would beat him too it. we would talk all day. anyways we finally went out on a date and he introduced me to his friends and we went dancing and had a bonfire. after we got back we cuddled on the couch and the whole date he kept saying how cute i was and he liked my personality. anyways yes i did spend the night and now when i text him it just seems like he isnt interested. He did say he would like to go out again. But now it just seems like if i text him its nothing. Am I reading this wrong or should I just come out and just ask him if im wasting my time.

Reply July 23, 2012, 12:20 pm

Anais

Hi Silver, here’s my 2 cents since a reply hasn’t been written yet. As Eric said “Remember, a guy is only as invested in you as the effort he puts into the relationship. If he’s not putting effort, he’s not investing in the relationship. So don’t try to push him to do anything – live your life and give him the space to come to you.” Maybe try not being the first one to text him and see if you hear from him again; that’s giving him the space to come to you. If you do hear from him, he may step up his efforts when you give him the space and he realizes you won’t initiate contact with him. If you don’t hear from him, you have your answer. As strange as it sounds, he’s likely either not going to answer or just give you a a vague answer if you ask him “am I wasting my time?” Hope that helps.

Reply August 14, 2012, 11:13 am

ice cream cone

5 months of a wonderful start, but then I got a little upset and he withdrew…he’s also 7 years younger.
Hi Eric, first off, your Ask a Man advice is really great and has been insightful to read.
I’ve been seeing someone for 5 months. Things were going really great, my friends all noticed how obvious it was that he adores me, he went out of his way to spend quality wholesome time together, was very very affectionate… basically like a love sick puppy, and this went on for 5 months. He hadn’t even began to show signs of withdrawing up until the weekend after he met my parents. (note: I only suggested him meeting them after he had officially invited me to meet his, go to a family wedding, etc.) I noticed a slight withdrawal on his part, and instead of letting him (and me) to have space to process things, I took his withdrawal the wrong way, as a threat, and got upset with him and definitely made him feel like I was trying to take away his freedom. This basically pushed us into a “maybe we should take a break” conversation. He told me he felt like he wasn’t making me happy, when it was me that was not making me happy. After that, I left him alone, even though all I wanted to do was call, write or text, to “fix” things. I let him come to me. And while I waited, I focused on myself, doing my thing and not obsessing. I felt very clear about what had happened, and eventually he did come to me. We got together for a couple drinks (his idea), but he didn’t bring anything up, we just … chit chatted. The evening was coming to an end, and I was confused as to what this little getting together was about. Was he trying to be just friends, was he testing to waters to see what our chemistry was like? He’s told me that when it comes time to communicate, he zips up. So i wondered if there were things he wanted to say, but he was afraid to say them. So I forced it. :( I insisted we talk, but of course nothing came out right and I got out emotional. I even shed some tears. I went to a weird place that had nothing to do with him, and only to do with my past relationships. I knew it was bad, I knew it would only push him away, but in the moment I was freaked out, and scared about him leaving, I got NEEDY. BUT. He had the option to take his things from my apartment, and give me my keys back, but he didn’t. He said we should not make any big decisions and think about things. So that was about a week and a half ago. There was very minimal texting the next day, but since then nothing. I’ve held back from contacting him, and focused on being present with my friends, and my own life. So, I really do want him to come to me. But at the same time, I am the one that messed up, and I want so badly to be able to show him that I really do respect his space, want him–and me, to have independence outside of each other, that I don’t want to take him from his friends. We had so much fun together, and it felt like we were teenagers. It was easy. I want him to know how successful he was at making me happy, in addition to me being a naturally happy person to begin with. Would it be so terrible if I wanted to reach out this time, ask him to get together? I’m afraid that he is waiting for an apology, but it’s so hard to tell. Is he just keeping his stuff at my place, and keeping my keys to keep me on a bookshelf?

Reply July 2, 2012, 4:34 pm

Nino

You most likely won’t like what you’re about to read but here goes.
You said he’s 7 years younger than you. That can be quite the relationship ruiner in this case, depending on how old you both are. For example: If he’s 25, he’s barely just “starting” his life. College years are over and things are starting to get serious but not that serious. Since in the example he’s 25, that would make you 32. You’ve already been through that stage, you’re most likely absolutely ready for a long-time commitment and you probably want a family. He knows that and it’s always in the back of his head. So little “fits” like that scare him away. Even if that’s not the case with you, he still thinks it.
I hope this was somehow helpfull and that it wasn’t too blunt and the example not too far off the case.
Cheers.

Reply July 23, 2012, 7:19 am

ice cream cone

Thanks Nino. I do believe you hit the nail on the head. Not too blunt at all. :)

Reply July 24, 2012, 8:25 am

Heather

I have been dating the same man for six years. I want to know why he acts so different now then what we did ewhen we first got together.? We also argue all the time and to be honest I’m tired of it. It seems like all we do is argue and its been that way for 5 years, its mainly over stupid things.Another problem I have is that he is a very different man he won’t tell me what turns him on and such, he dont show me love or affection he says I’m just not that type of guy? When all I want is live and affection. If I must say so myself I’m a hood looking woman so how come this makes me feel less attractive????????? Help please I’m so lost.

Reply June 25, 2012, 7:10 pm

Yasmine

Hi Heather, whether you are in love or not – is this really the kind of love you want to experience for the rest of your life? You are obviously a very kinesthetic (feeling) person. You crave love, affection and spontaneity. You seem to have hooked up with a guy who is very much based in a so to speak “conservative” mind. The kind of man who does not show feelings too much, likes to control things and likes a certain routine in his life. Nothing wrong with that, it is just a huge challenge for you to be with that kind of person – as you are a huge challenge to him. He craves routine – you have a problem with routine. You crave spontaneity and variety – which he has a problem with. The two of you seem to concentrate on very different needs and have very different values. You have now been with this man for more than five years. The two of you are fighting over stupid things. People fight over stupid things when their needs are not met. None of us fight about picking up the slippers, newspapers etc. We fight about our need for love and respect not being met or being met incorrectly. I bet that the little love and affection you get from him makes you feel like a tropical flower, which gets a couple of raindrops – just enough to keep it alive to have one flower. What if you were showered with love and affection so much that you were like a tropical flowering bush?? If you can fill your life with the feeling of love and affection outside your romantic relationship (e.g. giving/receiving love through helping others) then you can presumably accept “your man’s” non-affection – and still turn into a tropical flowering bush, however, if you only fill up your emotional love reservoir from him, then you might have to re-think what you want out of life – your life! As mentioned on this site before, it is about how much self esteem you have in relation to what you are prepared to put up with. Many girls think they can change a man – they can not! Nobody can change another person – only the person him/herself can change him/herself – if that person is willing to change.
1. You have to consider if this man will change so drastically that he will be able to fullfill your needs for love and affection in the long term?
2. If he does not change and you stay in the relationship are you then lowering your standard – or do you get the love from somewhere else? (he might be able to keep you engaged intellectually and is fascinating in many other ways?)
3. If you change and give up/tone down your need for love and affection, will you be fullfilled and happy?
4. How high is your self esteem in general when you are with this man (not only when he once in a while kisses you)? –
5. How high was your self esteem before you met him?
6. How high would you like your self esteem to be?
7. Finally is there an issue of neediness and insecurity? We girls who love to be held, touched, kissed and cuddled spontaneously need to be with a guy who is equal to that, and since you are good looking, he needs to have a healthy self-esteem. the insecure guys tend to feel even more insecure around us, they try to control us and withdrawing love is one great way to get us frustrated, needy and insecure. Resulting in them trying to be top dog, which only makes us feel even more un-loved, needy, insecure and frustrated. If this is the case you have to really consider this relationship – emotional control is a hard one to live with.
8. Are you trying to control him? Are you the absolutely best you can be in this relationship?
Good looking girls generally have a great heart as well. A heart to be used not only for unfullfilling relationships with lack of love and filled with arguments but for everybody – including yourself. The crunch line is that I can not give you any advice, you are not lost – since you know exactly what feels right for you. And you will pick the right decision. My questions, however, can make you see clearer and make you understand yourself better. Just please weigh up carefully what you have answered to my above questions once you have thought them through. And make a conclusion whether to proceed or end the relationship. Don’t jump out and threaten your man that you will leave: that is a sure winner of eventually ending any relationship – although a lot of us girls use this a emotional black mail to get a reassurance of commitment and love from our man. Another thing to check is that your guy is presumably auditive and you are kinesthetic, so you might talk in two different love languages and misunderstand each other on a regular basis. You can check this on Google.
I have been in many of the same kind of relationships myself as described by you until I realised that I simply attracted the wrong guys for me. And a spontaneous, loving and funny guy who believes in love deserves my heart.
Hope this helps. Yasmine

Reply June 30, 2012, 10:08 pm

Rox

So Eric, this is really familiar. i played it cool both when we had plans (nothing specific, we just arranged to meet on a specific day and I didn’t hear back from him the day we were supposed to meet ~ he later said he overslept…) and when iI stopped hearing from him. he didn’t text me for 2 weeks and I never contacted him during this period at all.

Now he left me a couple of messages on Facebook, to which I didn’t reply, and a few days later sent me a text saying he misses me a lot and that he doesn’t mind if I think it’s ridiculous. It’s been 2 days now and I haven’t replied yet and I’m so unsure on what to say. I know he’s testing me, but what should I reply to him? Any advice? Thank you!

Reply June 25, 2012, 3:13 pm

Mylanta

If he “comes your way again” and it’s one hour every two weeks, it’s time to consider he went back to the ex or found someone else but doesn’t have the heart to tell you or he can’t decide who he wants, or he wants to see how far he can get with you. kick him to the curb if he’s not in hot pursuit after you’ve been giving him all this space. He shouldn’t be risking losing you to another man if he really liked you THAT MUCH.

Reply June 24, 2012, 11:05 pm

melissa

I need serious help….I have been dating someone for 6 years..at first we met online, then we started meeting each other and everything was perfect, he just left me 4 days ago from a 3 week visit, he told me he didnt love me anymore, but then he says he loves me more than a friend but he doesnt know what hes feeling or what he wants in his life right now, im confused and torn apart from my anxiety, when asked multiple times why he doesnt love me he says he cant explain it, but he wants to keep a good friendship, and yet i am close to death, and just lost a baby he never onced called to see if i was ok, he sayshes busy, what do i do?

Reply June 24, 2012, 5:01 pm

Pillars

Sweetheart!!! Cry and move on. He sounds heartless and you deserve better. It is so hard when we love someone and they don’t love us the same. I know this , have walked it and life does go On! (((( hugs))))

Reply June 26, 2012, 9:32 pm

melissa

but its so hard, i mean we were best friends for the longest time, and we were there for each other through everything, we have both had a very hard life, which confuses me as to why he will not speak to me, i cant help but say something sad when he IS online, he treats me like we are less than friends, he will not talk to me, hes cruel, i dont know what to do i know i must go on but we have such a strong relationship that it scares me, he is in a marine military school, i can only talk to him on the weekends, well one tuesday i was just sitting in a chair and suddenly i was in horrible pain in my left arm, to the brink i was crying, went to doctor and nothing was wrong, when he didnt call me saturday i was worried, i got ahold of his mother and he had been hurt in his left arm on tuesday, we dream the same dreams, we know when each other is hurt, and the suddenlyn i cant feel him near me anymore, its cold and lonely and when my soul cries out to him, theres nothing but darkness. i am in an everlasting depression.

Reply June 26, 2012, 9:40 pm

Britt

Hi,
I’m looking for a little advice on my current relationship. My bf and I started out wonderful always communicating making time for each other. He told me his job gets heavy in the summer or when the weather gets nicer. (He works for his dad in the flooring business.) I was prepared for him to work longer hours and the occasional weekend, though he works pretty much every day 12-15 hour days right now. We also live an hour away from each other. He is so tired when he’s home he will text me always, possibly call or video chat (if he’s home early enough.) He also always messages me every morning like clockwork. And if he comes home during the day between jobs, he’ll text me. Which is wonderful I appreciate it all. He always ask how my day is, that he loves me, misses me, and thought about me all day, and tells me amazing and beautiful frequently. Though as wonderful as it is, it’s hard to survive on just that. I would like to spend time together, like a date day. We started out having 2 dates a month. With our schedules. Well now my schedule is pretty open and he’s constantly working…we will plan dates, but if a job comes up he will cancel. We have not seen each other in person in well over a month. It’s getting to me, because we are NOT long distance, though it seems that way. I feel that I’m unimportant or not a priority when he can’t even make time to choose a day for us to be together, when there is no worked planned in advance. And that he should choose a day and commit to that day. And tell his dad in advance. (Hey we don’t have a job this day, I’m making plans.) But he can’t or won’t, I’m not sure exactly. I have told him how I feel. He tells me I’m right. But does not make changes. I know he loves me. I love him very much. Though i must admit the lack of time together is really getting to me. If this is seasonal or temporary, I can most definitely handle it, if I know it’s not going to be like this forever. So any advice would be greatly appreciated and helpful. :)

Reply May 31, 2012, 1:18 pm

maryam

HI am 22..
iv been going out with this guy for almost a year this july…
our relationship has been up and down from the start, am at uni now 160miles away from him and i use 2 see him like every 2 weeks everything was fine…but all of the sudeen he started 2 call and tex less and less…he worked CRAZY hours i mean like 70 80 hr a wk!!! and he was moody all the time like a kid!! whos had no sleep! 5 weeks ago he just txd me saying he needs 2 be left alone for a while that he need to clear his head!!! i did not even reply 2 it….and i haven’t called or txd him or anything for the passt 5 weeks its been hard when he txd me that the folowing week i had my exams starting so i was a mess!! but managed 2 get my head 2gether and worked hard… as my study is important 2 me
i went back home for 2 weeks 2 get help with my work from my previous tutor …. and i did not call or tx while i was at home…my neighbour is his best ma8!!! so couple of time when he came 2 get him and i was going out he saw me…and drove off as fast as he could!! and told my neighbor shes going 2 call me i know her u dont know what shes like!!! and he said dont flater your self … moron like i was abt 2 talk 2 him!!! this friday is my last exam… than uni is over well for 4 months….its really hard!! i know iv made mistakes i did say sorry ( i went mad at uni once and i through a mug at the door and it smashed!!! and he always brought it up saying i through it at him!!! if i really wanted 2 do that i would have through it before he left the room!! and be4 i came 2 uni he got me a watch and he got me mad this time so i toke it off and through it out the window!!! i re grated it after….but once done cant be undone!! plz plz help me how can i get him back again!!! i know of the mistakes and wont make it again!!! but he did not even give me the chance 2 prove 2 him…that i was sorry!!! :( thank you

Reply May 27, 2012, 12:46 pm

Anya

Amen! You couldn’t have said it better. There’s a lot of contradiction, experimentation, and testing in the beginning stages. It is a game of sorts, whether subconconscious or deliberate. Chase and be chased, round and round it goes. You want to see how they will impress you but you also want to really get to know them. A complete contradiction. Don’t focus on your partner, remain focused on YOU. No one wants to be around someone uninteresting and who seems to be infatuated only about you. Shop around, get rid of the idea that there’s only “the One.” I am going to save this column to save myself the trouble of explaining this over and over again to my girl friends. This is a huge service. Well written! I look forward to reading more from your column! You deserve an award or something… Seriously! Thank you!!!

Reply May 26, 2012, 4:54 am

Ellie

Hello Eric,

Found this emailing list and actually think your advises are useful and clever. I agree with them! Totally! Very interesting! However, when it comes to my own emotions it is hard to get my head around all thats happening :D … it is always hard to evaluate situation when stuff is very subjective and we encounter conflict of interest (believe what we want to at the time given due to being emotional etc). I would greatly appreciate your opinion on my case. I will be concise :)
I like PT in the gym. Its been a while now. It is very good pricy gym and guy was working there over 10 yr , has good reputation. He accepted my fb friend request a year ago but we didnt communicate. Hes very professional. Once I filled request for session and e respoonded after few months into my fb inbox that he found my request … after session (free one) he keeps txting me at least once a week. He emails me sports related links and articles and sais thats me the clever one etc … no any sexual innuendos just slightly flirty stuff. Every contact we ever made (fb, phone) was from his side. After his class (group class wt many ppl)) he text me asking if i enjoyed it…. then one night he got drunk and I got text at 2.30 am .. attempt to flirt but nothing too suggestive (no sexual innuendos at all). Next day he texted me saying he was drunk and said sorry … I really like the guy but do not want to screw it up by making wrong move. I do realise he can nt ask me out because of his work. On the other hand if he did not by now – maybe he is just not that into me? I do c other guys and trying not to obsess… but I really like PT in the gym, He is funny and clever .. Is there any evidence of him liking me ? As he still kept texting me after I refused personal training lessons… his texts became more friendly and personal with (x x x ) in them …
please, tell me what you think :) I really can nt read this guy!

Thank you
E

Reply May 10, 2012, 7:27 pm

Anya

Ellie,
Yes, he’s into you….BUT he’s being very careful and slow about it, which in my book is a flag that he may be attached already but can’t decide or just likes the flirting on the side. Have you ever heard the saying, “Just because he’s in a relationship/married, it doesn’t mean he stops being a guy?” Meaning, he can still find other people attractive but it doesn’t mean he will give up the girl he’s with. I’ve heard countless similar stories and my best advice to you is this: until he makes a CLEAR message that he wants to take it step further (as in, he says he wants to take you out on a date and no roundabout BS way of asking you out), then don’t take any action. He has to make the next move, and it has to be clear and unambiguous. If he doesn’t, I wouldn’t take him seriously at all. Remember, you’re not that desperate. SHOP AROUND. Decide who you like, don’t let them decide for you. If a guy can’t be upfront and communicate well, that’s another red flag. And if you do get to that point, where he mans up and makes it clear about his intentions, then be sure to ask clearly if he’s already involved or dating someone else. For some guys, if you don’t ask them, they don’t feel the need to tell you. Don’t fall in love, bring a flashlight and a compass. Be smart about it. Even if they say they’re not involved, if anything seems off or unclear, go with your gut feeling. Know what you’re looking for instead of just diving in. The more you date around, the better you can compare and remember your worth.

Reply May 26, 2012, 5:13 am

Ellie

Anya,
Thank you very much for your opinion! :)
Just want to add that I know that he is single (for sure). I kind of like it that he did nt come around and asked me out straight away but tried hard to find common topic with , wrote me long emals. And I am his client in good gym so it is good sign that he cares about his job and reputation and does not ask all good looking chicks put straight away. On the other hand it has been too long … well, I never showed initiative because I care about m reputation in that place as I love that gym and I will have too see him 3 times a week there. So I keep distance just in case… I dnt want things to get awkward. I date other guys but never like anyone enough to go into relationship. My PT is still texting me and his text are getting more personal ;) and in a nice way. But you were right that there must be a reason why he takes it so slow…
Thank you for yr advice
Ellie

Reply May 31, 2012, 12:32 pm

thisisamazing

This is amazing. I frankly don’t understand why anyone would be so immature and not realize it as to do this, but this explains so much. I also don’t understand why anybody would have the patience to deal with such an insecure person, especially because these kinds of action are just rude, but i guess we do weird things when we are confused

Reply May 10, 2012, 1:54 pm

Gail

Eric Charles, please give me a guys point of view; I plan to have dinner with the man I was dating two years ago. He went MIA and pulled away from me by disappearing and blowing hot and cold. He started out being nice and kind and wanting to date exclusively and wanting to see me all the time and showing so much interest at first; so of course I wanted more and he told me he wanted to slow things down after about two months then later said he was not ready for a serious relationship so we stop dating.

I do believe that people change and based on our recent conversations I think he has. He also has apologized several times for his behavior. He is keeping in touch with me now by calling and texting. I figure it is only dinner and we are friends. He wants to see where things go but I told him only time with him will show me the change in him.
I am not going into this with expectations like before (wanting a relationship) but I still care about him. When we dated I felt he cared about me. He is being persistent concerning dinner but we have yet to set a dinner date. He text me to ask me out which he has never done before. I told him I do not accept dates via text. He called and asked me out to dinner but he wanted to go the day he called. I told him no, I need more notice. He apologized again and said he does not want anything from me but to have dinner and laugh and then he will go home. (He knows he will have to get a hotel room).
We more than likely will go to dinner next week if he gives me at least a day’s notice.

I know the saying the perdictor of future behavior is past behavior but we all live and learn. I have forgiven him totally. I most definitely will take my time with him because I refuse to go back to drama. I am not dating anyone at the moment but I will not turn down a date just because he and I may see each other from time to time. He is three hours away. We were intimate when we were dating previously. There will not be any intimacy during this new dating phase.

He more or less told me that he knew I was a good woman and that he dated other women who did not compared with me without him using the word (compare). He said he thought about all my qualities and did not see them in other woman.
I was shocked he voiced that to me. I did not mind him sharing the comparison with me and other women after me because it let me know he was paying attention to how it was when we were dating which speaks growth on his part.

I know some women may say I should not go with him to dinner or try to see where things may go after he left me for other women. I do not feel like second choice. I was his first choice he knew the royalty was there but because the crown was not visible on my head he passed. You know, he could not see the forest for the trees. What do you think?

Reply May 3, 2012, 11:07 pm

Anya

Gail,
I would remain careful with this guy. He already has a history for not being able to commit. In truth, you won’t really know what his intentions are. He could have realized what he had lost or he might be a narcissist or some other personality type that perhaps lost interest in other victims and found you the most challenging victim. Keep sex out of the picture for months and see if that changes anything. Be totally yourself around him (no pretenses, no makes, not trying to impress him) and see if that changes anything. The whole point in dating is to decide if you could be with someone longterm, right? Well, nows the time to really test this out. Do you stop hearing from him because he sees you without makeup and in a jogging suit one day? Be sure to test out any quirks or pet peeves you may have. If he still wants to be with you and doesn’t criticize you for just being you, then he’s worth more effort.

Then, there are guys that may in fact have realized what they lost, but it doesn’t mean they’ll change permanently. Don’t ever expect any kind of permanent change from anyone. It could be ambitious but then after a few months or even years, they return to being uncommitted, wishy washy, etc. You have to be certain that you can be with him exactly how he is, too.

Reply May 26, 2012, 5:26 am

P

Hello,
I need some help. I have been dating this guy for 1.5 month. We have known each other for many years but barely talked. Everything went good but now he is starting to disappear. He calls me less. Sometimes he disappears for 2 days and after that he will call me and say something like why I don’t care about him or why I don’t call him. But when I call, he still sometimes doesn’t pick up and doesn’t call back. I am really confused and don’t know what to do.
Thank you.

Reply April 28, 2012, 9:13 pm

Josee

Why don’t you tell him that you are under the impression that he doesn’t answer your phone calls ? That you are not sure if he wants you to call him ? As you are going out with him, it is easier to ask what he wants exactly with you. You have the right to know. Just ask him casually. I wish i was closer to the man that I am interested in to ask him such things. I wish you good luck!

Reply May 7, 2012, 10:49 pm

P

Thank u very much Josee. I really want to ask him but I’m just afraid of the outcome. What if he sees me as needy or what if is not the right time and my question will push him more further away. Or maybe I’m just thinking too much.

Reply May 11, 2012, 4:31 am

Anya

In all honesty, he sounds needy. Red flag! Only 2 days and he’s complaining? And why is it that you have to be the one tha calls him? Why can’t he initiate the call? I see signs already of passive aggressive, manipulative behavior. Adults call other people when they miss someone or want to stay in touch. Nothing’s stopping him from calling you. It’s a 2-way street honey. He can pick up the phone and call, too! I say, RUN from this guy!

Reply May 26, 2012, 5:30 am

A

Hello,

I have met a man about a month ago, we met few times, I have been to his Bday but all with people around. Before yesterda he invited me and my guy friend to eat, we went and he asked for my number. Yesterday, He called me during the day and we met in the evening… We slept together, I know it was too fast but it was really good. We both felt very good together. I didn’t stay the night with him cause I had things in the morning, he made his driver take me home. Toda he has called me, he seemed interested in me (though he is a player) but then in the evening he came to my friends restaurant where he knew I was (he knows my friend) with another girl. When I wanted to let them eat alone he told me it was not like that and she is a long friend. However, after there was nothing…we ate, drank and they left. I don’t know if he is sleeping with her or not. Tomorrow I’m supposed to see him, we are all going to his club. Ok to admit I have someone and he knows it but I doubt it and that man is far, which he knows also. I kind of starting to like him a little too much and felt jealous today, which I didn’t show, so please help me how should I act with him to know what he wants…to maybe attract him more…what should I do tomorrow?
Thank you very much!
A

Reply April 27, 2012, 6:53 pm

Eva

The good news is that he’s already attracted to you enough because he visited you the next day and called. The bad news is you already know he’s a player so you’re setting yourself up for heartache if you get attached to him. You should put a lock on your heart and just have fun, that’ll also male you more attractive to him. Honestly though, don’t expect him to change and control your feelings towards him until he proves he’s worthy ;)

Reply April 28, 2012, 12:02 am

Anya

Sounds like you’re his booty call. The tone of the relationship was set from the beginning when you jumped into bed too quick. Why buy the cow when he can get the milk for free? Why put any effort in when he’s already slept with you? He’ll only put enough effort to keep sleeping with you, not to have a real relationship. Run!

Reply May 26, 2012, 5:35 am

J

Eric,
I need some help. I am a faithful follower of your “Ask A Guy”. I have been dating this guy for about 3 weeks. Our first date we met out and grabbed a couple of drinks. After that, he has just invited me over his house. We both decided to take things slow, and he decided that we should wait to sleep together. Well, on Saturday night he called me up at 1am to come over (note that we live within a mile from each other) to hang out because he missed me and we hadn’t seen each other in a week. I told him that anything after 10pm is a booty call, and he said that he wants more than just sex…he wants a girlfriend and a relationship eventually. So I bought into it and went over and spent the night. We made out again as usual, and ended up naked, but still did not have any kind of sex.

Fast forward to today…one of my male friends said that he is only using me, and any guy that calls that late at night and only wants to hang out at his house is just using me. I am a pretty girl, pretty smart, and have a great job. I am starting to like him and have feelings, but now I am nervous that he is after the wrong thing. I have believed everything he tells me because he has given me no reason to believe otherwise. I don’t know if I should talk to him about how I feel or just let it ride and ‘steer’ in the direction of actually going out on a date. I let him call me, text me, ask me out, but it is always the same thing.

I don’t want to mess things up, but I don’t want to be used. I want to feel valued and appreciated, and I am not interested in anything that is not moving toward a relationship eventually. I have been playing things cool…not acting needy or anything and I am enjoying myself. Just everytime we are together it is at his place making out. What should I do?

Reply April 23, 2012, 5:30 pm

Anya

To quote you: “…he wants a girlfriend and a relationship **eventually**”

What does “eventually” mean?! Like in 20-30 years? Imagine if you gave that kind of answer to a bank about a loan…. “Yeah, I’ll pay the loan back….eventually.” You really think they’ll accept that? Hell no! They’d make you sign a contract where you agree to pay them monthly. The terms are clear and upfront. You should be looking for the same kind of clarity in a guy’s communication. You have things to do. You don’t have time to waste on finding out WTH “eventually” means! The tone of the relaitonship was set up already for you to be a booty call since you jumped into bed too quickly. Why should he be in a relationship with you, when you gave away your best cards already by sleeping with him? He can just continue to promise a “relationship eventually” forever. This guy has player written all over him! RUN! You’re not that desperate, are you? Shop around!

Reply May 26, 2012, 5:42 am

Eva

Hi Eric,

First of all, thanks for the article. It was insightful. With respect to my own situation I hope you want to enlighten me. Because I’m confused.
My guy, at 7 months of dating, told me, he did not want a relationship. He was afraid I would be angry. I told nonchalantly, I understand, let’s be friends. And did not give him a second thought. (because hey, if the feelings aren’t there, it’s not there). I was the one doing ‘the work’ for the dating in end, offering the supply. After i was very nonchalant, he started doing his best for me, which lasted short unfortunately, mainly because we took up the pattern again that I initiate contact. We saw each other more often.

But this week something happened. He called on Tuesday, I said when will we meet? He said Thursday? I said ok. later that evening we had a discussion about what I was. I’m not his girfriend, I’m not his bootycall and not his friend with benefits. But I am his friend, and he is mine. He also told me out of himself and kept repeating, that he does not see a future with me. I told him, ok, I do see a future and and that he is the one for me, but you can’t steer feelings, and if he doesn’t have them, I take that as a fact. That’s life.Thursday came (and he always keeps his word), but I get a textmessage, that he wouldn’t come and he thought I would be angry. I call him about it.
He tells me (with a shaky voice) that he has been worrying about it since the morning, that he is confused about what he is feeling, that he couldn’t see himself just sitting on the couch with me as friends. I told him, but hey, you are the one who wanted to be just friends? He asked me for space. So I said, it’s ok. Take the time to find out what it is you want. And he told me he will not dissappear and that he will call me in a few weeks, when the smoke’s cleared. I haven’t contacted him and we had contact everyday. I do miss him, but I keep myself busy, doing nice things for myself and have also accepted a date from someone else (I’ve decided to date others, until my guy says he’s committed, even though we are/were exclusive, and I haven’t told him that I date, I see no need for that)

So what could be the deal here? He told me before he didn’t see a future, because he missed a feeling, but now he is confused?
Does he want to be only friends and just want some time off contact to forget me?
Or could it also be, that he will find that het wants to take the relationship to the next level? (a feeling that he told me on Tuesday, he did not have and which made him worried and he said if I don’t have it by now, I doubt that it will come in the future).

Many thanks!
Eva

Reply April 21, 2012, 2:18 pm

Addison

Hey Eric,
Thanks for the great article! you shed a lot of light on my current situation and helped to keep me from freaking out over my guy recently going MIA.
But I have a few question about the freak out phase. So pretty much, just like your article described, everything was going perfectly, a relationship seemed just around the corner (I may have assumed the “gf” role too quickly) and then he went MIA. He’s 28, I’m 21 and we’ve been seeing each other for about 6 weeks now, he asked me out to dinner the night we met, and from there everything took off. We saw each other about 2 or 3 nights a week, went to dinner, movies, dancing, sleepovers, double/triple dates with his roomies, made dinner together, blah blah blah, everything was perfect. I took him to a baseball game with my family after about 5 weeks and he got to meet them. It wasn’t a big to-do, just a casual thing. That night he was very affectionate, big on PDA, basically being all over me as usual (not in front of my family though), but essentially it was the usual behavior, no red flags. He even took a picture of us together on his iphone. When he dropped me off that night he warned me that he had finals coming up and would be very busy the next week. He said “We met at the worst time, we just have to get through finals and then in the summer we can go up north, go to the pool together, etc. I’m not worried about how it will effect us and you shouldn’t be either.” That was last Thursday, we texted a little on Friday, initiated by me and ended by him, then I texted him saturday morning with no response. I left him alone all week and respectful of his busy school/work schedule. Then I texted him Wednesday to see if he wanted to hang out friday, no response. I called him Thursday night after his last final and left a voicemail asking the same thing, he didn’t call back. I texted him friday night saying I hadn’t heard from him in a week and asking if everything was ok, he responded with “haha, heyyyyy! I’m done! Finally! How are you??” I responded back and then heard nothing again. I texted him Saturday and asked if he wanted to hangout that night, no response. Finally I was fed up with his behavior, I called him saturday night and left a voicemail asking him to call me back because I wanted to talk to him. It’s now Tuesday and I still haven’t heard from him. The reason I think he’s going through the “freak out phase” is because he was very needy and insecure when we started seeing each other. He would always ask if I missed him, then say “Show me how much you missed me!” and then joke that “you didn’t even miss me” and he told me he “really like me” after about 1 week of dating, he would always say that he wanted to hangout more and text more and ask if I actually wanted to call him the night he gave me his number of if I just felt obligated. There were literally no warning signs, everything was going so well and then he just dropped off the face of the earth! He would always tell me how much he liked and cared about me, was very affectionate and big on PDA, listened when I talked, paid when we went out, told me all the time that he loved my body, and just stuff like, “you can invite yourself to sleepover at my place anytime you want!” and he gave me some of his clothes to wear home on our second date. Also,he is a very sweet, caring, mature man, he loves his family, has a lot of friends, not the type of guy to just stop calling…or at least that’s what I thought anyway. So I have a couple questions here…is this the freak out phase, or is he done with me? Also…did I ruin it by showing neediness in the beginning? I’m trying to be optimistic, I really don’t see him just up and leaving, but I’m also starting to get insecure, things were going so well and I miss him a lot! I want to text him on Sunday (that would be a week of no contact) and see what’s up….does that show neediness or interest?

Reply April 17, 2012, 3:14 pm

Sofia

“…he gave me some of his clothes to wear home on our second date.”

You slept with him or slept over and messed around on the second date? Dear, you didn’t make him hungry for you, he got you too easily. It’s done, men want the chase, the catch…..it’s done, don’t text.

Part of the big problem with women is we are all too easy b/c we want it or we feel if we don’t give, another girl will snatch him. That mentality will only make you LESS desireable, and they can sniff your insecurity if you felt that way.

All men need to wait a few weeks of several dates, minimum.

Reply April 17, 2012, 4:32 pm

Eric Charles

@Sofia
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I disagree.
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Holding out sex or sexual favors as a manipulation strategy doesn’t make a relationship happen, magically.
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Using sex to make a relationship happen doesn’t work either though.
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But stop adding to the “sexual paranoia”. How quickly you have sex is irrelevant.
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Some of my best long term relationships started with sex on the first date. Some of my best guy friends are married with children to women who they slept with on the first date.
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And these aren’t low-class women. These are girls from nice families, great careers (among them doctors, lawyers, high-level managers, etc.) and have high self-esteem.
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How quickly you have sex or don’t have sex is irrelevant.
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Now… to the women who think they should sleep with a guy because it will score them points with him somehow, it won’t. That is true.
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But come on, let’s get real here. This isn’t 1920. Do you really think guys are going to see a girl holding out sex as anything other than manipulative?
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Guys have female friends who have already spilled the beans about their sex lives. Guys know what’s up. And guys can get sex… everywhere.
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When a girl holds out sex from a guy as a strategy to land a boyfriend, do you think that’s any less needy than a girl having sex out of the hopes of scoring a boyfriend?
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But you’ve heard all your life that guys don’t want girls who “give it up easy”.
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From who? The American public… where we have a soaring divorce rate and ever-increasing levels of depression and dissatisfaction?
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From who? Hollywood… the origin of a huge amount of dating misconceptions and lies?
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From who? Dating advice books that were written in the 80s and early 90s… when women wore shoulder-pads and the internet didn’t exist yet?
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Come on… SEX has nothing to do with it. Get with the times, jeez.
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The fact is: It’s about depth of connection with the guy. The quality of time you spend together. Your own happiness, fulfillment and self-love. It’s about having CHOICE of who you will dating and not CHOOSING a man until he’s explicitly locked you down.
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THOSE are important factors. But not the whole 19th-century hold-out-sex discussion. I’m tired of that stuff – doesn’t help anyone, makes women paranoid and less satisfied and is waaaaay outdated.

Reply April 17, 2012, 6:07 pm

Addison

Ok, lets clear some things up here, we didn’t have sex on our second date, though I can see how what I said could be misinterpreted in that way. I was neither withholding nor giving in on the whole sex thing to try and manipulate him one way or another. Honestly that was one way that I knew we had a really good relationship (or whatever you want to call it) because I didn’t have to think about when was the right time to sleep with him. I didn’t overanalyze it or google “how long should I wait before sleeping with him.”…none of that shit….which is something that I would typically do. I like to overanalyze things. But the more I think about our situation now, I’m pretty convinced (and also just trying to be hopeful) that he’s in the freak out phase. I really truly in my heart of hearts don’t believe that he would just up and leave me like that. We always had a great time together, and the quality of the time we spent together was amazing, and he was always upfront and honest with me…I just really don’t think he would walk away without even a word. He was always very caring and respectful of me, leaving would be so out of character for him. I just really hope I didn’t make the situation worse by being kind of needy in the beginning of his freak out phase…I was just confused.

Reply April 17, 2012, 6:33 pm

I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn

Have to say I completely agree with Sofia on this one! Don’t ever give up your wildcard too soon. There are many reasons for this, and one paragraph is not going to cover it. Men don’t base a committment decision on a sexual connection. Yes, sure some (minority) of relationships are lucky enough to develop into something real even when intimacy has been introduced early on, but it’s always a bit of a thin gamble. Eric, you advocate anything goes where it comes to sex, by saying that we are no longer in the 1920’s. Well really, do you think we are doing everything correct in this generation? Somehow I think not. I think there were a lot of wise principles going on in the 1920’s. I think life was actually a lot more simpler and straightforward in many ways. ‘Equality’ and ‘Feminism’ as great movements as they were, introduced much confusion into the mix. From a woman’s perspective, when she takes a step back and doesn’t introduce sexual intimacy into the relationship too soon, a very interesting thing happens: she is able to analyse the relationship and the connection that is, or isn’t developing with a sense of logic and clear-headedness. All that tends to go out the window when the line is crossed. At the end of the day, most women want long-term committment and eventually marriage. It’s a sure fire way to test out the genuine from the non-genuine, because the genuine will always ‘wait’ for a woman they are sincerely interested in. I’ve read a lot of dating books, relationship books, psychology etc. most published within the last 5 years – and nearly all advocate sustaining from sex until both partners are sure where they stand with one another. These books weren’t written in the 80’s, and who cares if they were, 99% of relationship counsellors and psychologists can’t be wrong on this. Fair game to any women who wants to spread herself thin on a whim, but it certainly isn’t a sensible idea.

April 18, 2012, 5:20 am

Eric Charles

@Audrey – That’s great that you love all these different eras and epochs. Too bad people need help with what works in their dating life now.
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What you’re stating is your OPINION. I disagree with it. I’m not going to go 13 rounds with you on this… if you don’t agree, feel free to find dating columnists who agree with your point of view (there are plenty… especially ones that are from decades ago and haven’t been on a “date” since women had feathered hair.)
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My interest is in being EFFECTIVE and helping people get the results they want in their dating lives. If you want to make this about you being right, that’s fine. You can be “right” all you want – it’s just your opinion anyway.
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From where I’m sitting, I’ve talked with tens of thousands of men and women about their dating lives. What’s worked. What hasn’t.
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Plus I’ve talked to countless psychologists, dating counselors, dating coaches and dating advice writers. And from that, I give my opinion – and at the end of the day, it’s just my opinion.
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So if you don’t agree with my opinion at this point… you’re simply not going to – you have your convictions and you’re sticking to them… that’s completely fine with me, but I want to make it clear to my audience that I don’t agree with you or Sofia. I think that following your opinion would do a good deal of damage to their dating / relationship success.

April 18, 2012, 1:38 pm

Sofia

@Eric Charles

I am a lawyer with two graduate degrees and I live in a large city, have been for 6 years. In this city, there are more women than men, and sex is passed around like handshakes. I have been judged, tabled, and thrown to the side because guys go for the sex and move on. So have my friends. Maybe you’re the wonderful exception, but I didn’t get that from a dating book, I got it from being treated like dirt.

It’s not manipulation at all to hold off, it’s making him realize you are worth MORE than the sex, and the sex is the added bonus. Most men pursue a women initially b/c of the physical attraction, that’s perfectly fine, but it’s her job to make him realize she’s not just a pretty face. In fact, when the guy really truly likes a girl, he’ll go for days, weeks, w/o caring whether he got some, he’ll just want to be in her company. Yes, sex is important, and it is an imperative part of a healthy relationship, but that comes later.

When a relationship is superficial and ends, you miss the sex first, then the person. When a guy/girl loses the other, s(he) needs to feel the loss of the person, the personality, the inspiration, not the physical moments.

Reply April 18, 2012, 1:13 pm

I _love_Audrey_Heburn

Eric, why do you always seem to get so angry when one of us girls mention not giving up sex too soon!? :D
I think most people would agree that the connection needed between a man and a woman to make a long lasting relationship is based on a lot more than sex. So why the rush? Why not pace yourself getting to know each other on all the important levels instead of potentially confusing oneself with the hormones, endorphins and the thrill of the physical, when it is only just one of the components of a bigger picture. I have never disputed that some relationships do go the distance even when allowing when introducing physicality early on. But why should women take the risk of a broken heart AND feeling used, just because you think there is a remote chance of it working out?

April 23, 2012, 8:02 am

Eric Charles

@Audrey – Frankly, a few reasons:
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a) It’s only a couple of women on here who militantly bring it up over and over again like it’s a cause you are fighting for…
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b) It’s out-dated and plain incorrect.
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c) It’s poisons the group – you’re covertly shaming women and spreading misinformation.
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d) You’re encouraging manipulation of men. And if the manipulation even worked I would at least understand… but it doesn’t… there’s no evidence supporting it in this day and age – it is a cultural myth and misconception, and you’re keeping it alive.
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I’m a dating coach by profession. Millions of women pass through here – and I’ve spoken to tens of thousands of women. The fact of the matter is: It’s my job to make it very clear what’s good, effective advice and what isn’t.
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So it’s not anger (though I do find it annoying to have to continually make this point to the SAME people again and again). It’s my job.
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I’m putting a cap on this thread. I can’t waste more time on it.

Reply April 23, 2012, 11:42 am

CS

@ eric,

I think you are pulling a power move (ie letting your ego get the better of you) by putting a cap on the threat just because someone disagrees with you. You may be a dating coach, but you are not a woman who has to deal with the madonna/whore complexes that still influence how we are treated.

April 27, 2012, 3:15 am

Eric Charles

@CS – I understand why you might think that.
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Here’s where I’m coming from:
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As far as discussing topics, I’m open to discuss anything on A New Mode and in the comments. And you’ll see that I do.
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Problem is, if one or two members of the audience keep bringing up the same point over and over again, then it’s no longer a discussion. It’s an argument of convictions.
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If someone disagrees with me, that’s fine. But when someone is fixated on continually inflexibly asserting their viewpoint without listening or taking in my response, then it’s no longer a discussion.
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So that’s why I capped this particular discussion. First time I ever have, in fact. But through several other discussions with that member, it’s been made clear that no resolution was going to be reached – I can’t pour my energy into talking in circles with the same members of the audience over the same things. It’s not fair to me or everyone else.
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And you’re right – I’m not a woman. I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman, nor to I claim to. But that’s not relevant to the discussion – my role is to share what’s *effective* in relationships and with my 8 years of professional experience and thousands of successful testimonials, I do feel accredited to talk about that.
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It’s nothing against her or the subject matter at hand. It’s just that I need to conserve my energy for the people who will benefit from my time, not just a small select few who want to argue with me for whatever reason.

April 27, 2012, 2:42 pm

Gail

I was reading an article about men pulling away when everything is going great in the beginning stages of dating. I think it is so sad that men get scared and leave women hanging not knowing what happened or what they did wrong. I dated a man I met online for about two month before he started flipping the script. He was all into me, he asked that we date exclusively, he texted every morning and called. We had great conversations and we enjoyed each other’s company. The chemistry and connection was the best. We interacted at each other homes. I met his daughter. We did become intimate within two months then he starts pulling away.. then BAM; he went MIA. I would call him and he would not answer his phone and would not return my calls. I really thought something bad happened to him. This was in fact a long distance relationship and I did go to his home to check on him and when I did he was there but he did not seen to be happy to see me.
I stayed with him for two days and he was blowing hot and cold. He told me he wanted to slow things down. I decided to just call it quits because I did not appreciate the sudden changes in his behavior and attitude.
When I returned home he would text me as if he did nothing wrong so I ignored his texts. He kept asking me to come and see him so I did. He told me while I was there that he did not think I should come to his place unannounced. I advised him if we we were dating exclusively what was the problem because he could come to my home anytime. He and I were not intimate those two days but he wanted to be I refused until there was some type of explanation.
He then started calling during the holidays. Now a year has gone by and he starts to call again. I ignore the calls but he continues to call so I answer and he wants to know how I am and if I am seeing anyone and if I would go to dinner with him. I told him I was very busy the first time. He called again and I did not answer. He called again and I told him ok I would go to dinner with him but I do not know when that will be. He told me he was not in a hurry and he wanted me to call and keep in touch with him and he would keep in touch with me. I have not called him and have no plans to if he wants to call fine but I have no desire to initiate anything anymore. I was totally shocked when he said he was not in a hurry because he pursued me with a vegenance and was very impatient. I have forgiven him for his past behavior but I am not feeling like taking another chance on him because I am afraid that he will do the same thing he did before. I do not want to play and I made that very clear from day one. He did tell me that he knows I am a sweet woman and a great catch and any man would be crazy not to want me. I do not know what he wants from me? He had me once before. I am the same person that I was then. Do you think I should go to dinner with him?

Reply April 6, 2012, 2:19 am

Destany

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. What do you think?

Reply April 6, 2012, 2:24 am

Gail

That is correct. Thanks

Reply April 7, 2012, 11:05 am

Julie

I had this happen to me. Long distance, he had a daughter, just about same story. He will do it again, like mine did. He’ll eventually get complacent, and will focus on himself/his child.

I would not go out to dinner with him, if men don’t learn that their actions have permanent consequences, how will they ever change their behaviors?

Reply April 17, 2012, 4:37 pm

Sandy

I’ve been seeing this guy for 5 months now. We have completely hit it off, to the point, last month we talked of moving in together. We pretty much are living together. He stays at my place all the time. Rarely at his place (lives in basement apartment of parents home, as he recently relocated from a different state). Fast forward to this week. We are to begin moving in this Saturday in ‘our’ new place. Two nights ago, he wanted to have a talk. Which we did. Which left me feeling like this move is not a good idea. He said he loves me more than anyone, that I complete him in so many ways that he wants to be with me always. Here’s where the shoe drops…. Within a few minutes of stating his love for me, he says his struggle is giving up his freedom (something he has really enjoyed). He doesn’t want to leave or break up our relationship but wanted me to know he has been recently feeling like he is suffocating, that he’s loosing his freedom, and that at brief times gets resentful of me, to the point he doesn’t want to be around me, or kiss me. He then says he feels guilty for feeling that way, cause he knows I have been nothing but wonderful, that its his own short comings. As of yesterday, he says he doesn’t want to leave, as I opted that option to him, as well as backing out of moving in together. I on the other hand have already gave my notice, and so will move forward moving in this weekend. I guess what I need answered is, do I need to end this relationship, or see where it goes? I do love him. I have never felt this type of love for anyone. It really does leave me heartbroken.

Reply March 28, 2012, 11:33 am

Leila

No matter how perfect it seems, mistake #1 was moving in together after only 5 months. It’s waaay too early. You’re gonna have to take a few steps back, get your own place (it sucks) and start afresh, be your independent you, don’t need to break up, but DONT call him, and hang out with him 50% of the time he wants to. Show him you’re cool and comfortable with being by yourself, maintain your personal interests, but don’t get angry at him. Don’t show him you are affected, put on a smile, be sweet, but gradually pull yourself away and make no explanation of it. You’ll see he’ll come running. And when he does, DONT move in with him until 1.5 years into the relationship.

It also seems like he’s insecure around you, are you sure you want that?

Reply April 17, 2012, 4:41 pm

Ayesha

Hello,
I have a question, i am engaged to a guy since 3 years, we dated for 2 years. we are very happy mostly.. but sometimes sometihng happens and he is not the way he usually is ..he loses his temper on more then he does on anyone.. he knows i love him alot and he hurts me,.. says the worst type of things like im a psycho. he doesnt admit his faults. when his anger is gone he apologises.. but it doesnt fix how the damage in my heart!

Reply March 21, 2012, 5:24 pm

Vanessa L.

What exactly is your question? Are you asking for someone to explain his behavior when the behavior doesn’t need to be explained at all? Regardless of what is going on with him, whether it be your or his issues, it is detremental to your relationship…and by the sounds of it, verbally abusive.

If you really want to know what can be going on, here are a few options:

1.) He’s growing unattracted to you and is being passive agressive by insulting you verbally instead of telling you what is really going on.
a.) This could also be if he is seeing and/or interested in someone else.
2.) He is depressed because there is serious issues he is dealing with in his life. i.e., death in family, loss of job, illness, etc.
3.) You are not providing things to him that he once received (like sex) and/or you have changed for the worse.
a.) Are you the same person he fell in love with or have you changed? Are you becoming someone that you thought he wanted? Have you maintained your autonomy, if perhaps this is how you were? Have you lost too much weight or gained too much weight?

If he has been pulling away and you’ve been following closer, then you need to stop. When a man is acting like this it’s because he’s not happy with you (or himself). Either way, he needs time and space from you to deal with his issues. Maybe he’s confused and having second thoughts, but you being there isn’t going to help him figure things out. He needs to do that on his own. Furthermore, If you want a man to miss you… staying in contact…even IF through a text message once every few days will not do it. You need to have a NO CONTACT rule for a while. I mean more than 2 months because the first month is often someone missing you for the wrong reasons i.e., lonelyness and companionship. The second month they are wondering why you aren’t there coming after them, if you are seeing anyone else, etc. The third month is when the relationship comes into perspective…when they start seeing the mistakes the’ve made etc. Right after a breakup there’s too much emotions involved for someone to be logical, therefore it is NOT a good idea to get back together and try to work things out quickly. Both of you need time for the rollercoaster emotions to settle down. Then you can see things for what they really are and figure out what was truly going wrong in the relationship and if it is worth saving.

Finally, never settle for less or for someone who is treating you badly. In the end, you are simply condoning his behavior and when he leaves you, you will end up feeling like a fool because you accepted it for so long.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

Do yourself a favor and talk to him about what’s really going on. If he refuses to open up, get the heck out of there. Unless this man is willing to do something drastic like go to counseling with you, do NOT take him back.

Reply March 24, 2012, 4:26 pm

drawing the line

He didn’t respond I felt like a fool for caring but now I feel like I took control. A week and two days later I saw him he couldn’t stop staring at me but looked away suddenly. It all became clear he still had feeling for me and he was starting to miss me this and the fact that he I saw him sad a few weeks before that (in his car I saw him but he didn’t see me) was enough to show me this was it but I no longer care…he lost his chance and I’m pretty sure his aware of that now as instead of running up to him and asking him I walked past with my head held high. Treat them mean keep them keen

Reply March 16, 2012, 12:29 am

Drawing the line

He didn’t respond I felt like a fool for caring but now I feel like I took control. A week and two days later I saw him he couldn’t stop staring at me but looked away suddenly. It all became clear he still had feeling for me and he was starting to miss me this and the fact that he I saw him sad a few weeks before that (in his car I saw him but he didn’t see me) was enough to show me this was it but I no longer care…he lost his chance and I’m pretty sure his aware of that now as instead of running up to him and asking him I walked past with my head held high. Ladies it’s all a game to them about whoever cares the less don’t be week and give in let him regret it, let him wonder and show him you that even though he giving you the silent treatment women and do it better treat them mean keep them keen. I have tried this before and it works plus your taking care of yourself as well.

Reply March 16, 2012, 12:27 am

Drawing the line

There comes a stage lady when you need to draw the line and just walk away. That’s the biggest lesson I have learnt. Why you ask because you need to keep you dignity and not be labelled as some clingy needy girl. I would say give it 3 weeks with no contact if you don’t hear from him BYE. But at time it depends on the situation with the guy who I was with it was combination of stuff happening in his life and freaking out. So I didn’t bother contacting until I found out there more I sent one text telling him I’m here as friend when his ready to talk so the ball is in his court now. It saying this I have decided not to bother anymore as i have received nothing back so i draw the line. Yeh maybe there is more but I need to think about myself and what’s best for me if he wants to make things right he knows how to find me. This means being strong so do whatever it takes to do so e.g. deleting his number, him as a fb friend, email, no happy birthday ect. This will show him that you have moved on because remember you gave him shot but he didn’t take it and you deserve someone better an if he truly wants you back watch him work harder than ever.

Reply March 5, 2012, 11:10 pm

A.Liz

Two months into the relationship. I want to take things slow and I want to be cool and collected. I want to enjoy the journey with him & enjoy every moment when we get to hang out. I want to give him his space. I trust him. I like living my life and I don’t mind not hearing from him every single day… BUT, not texting him nor calling until he comes to me, doesn’t it send the wrong message that I’m no longer interested in him?

Reply February 17, 2012, 11:58 am

Bretagne

@ A.Liz
Question: Why wouldn’t you initiate contact? Probably because of that old rule that the man should come to the woman. Totally false. I think you might send him the wrong message if you play it too cool. If you want to text him, text him! If he really likes you he won’t mind at all, and if he does mind then he’s not the guy for you. That’s the whole take away here, if you can’t be yourself around a guy with out worrying about how he’ll take it, then he’s not the guy for you. Of course don’t go over bored but calling him every once in a while or a text to see how his day went will only show you’re interested in him and his life. It’s already been two months, maybe try putting a little effort in? Just my humble opinion. Good luck! :D

Reply February 17, 2012, 1:56 pm

Bretagne

*overboard, sorry.

Reply February 17, 2012, 1:58 pm

Lisa

@Bretagne – I can empathise. That’s what happened to me. I broke it off and yes, he was just another ship passing in the night. I didn’t give him excuses, I gave valid reasons…i.e. he couldn’t make advance plans, didn’t seem to know what he wanted etc etc. He had nothing to say..no apology or excuses for his behaviour, which leads me to believe he was stringing me along the entire duration. All you can do in these situations is watch a man’s actions as they ultimately speak louder than words. Women always seem to be told we have to play it cool, go with the flow so as not to freak a guy out too soon. But when you do that you can still end up getting hurt anyway as some of them will just take advantage, string you along, play you and use you. Seems like you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t!! At the same time we’re repeatedely told to watch out for signs he’s just not that into us! Some women might like to hang around for months and even years waiting for a guy to make his mind up but I think after 2-3 months of seeing someone they should know if they want to progress things or not.

Reply February 13, 2012, 6:52 am

Bretagne

@Lisa
Life as a woman seems to be a catch-22 in every way possible! But what I ‘ve learned is that when it’s the right guy you won’t need to go on these silly dating advise sites. It’s just going to click and you’ll know that he loves you. I honestly believe this “freak out” phase is either total garbage or the actions of an emotionally immature or insecure man and who wants one of those? When a man is in love, he’ll never want to push you away. :)

Reply February 14, 2012, 7:33 am

Bretagne

What if you break it off because of his actions in the “freak out” phase? I’ve been seeing this guy for three months until he started exhibiting the “freak out symptoms” and I told him that it seemed like he was just playing games and that we shouldn’t continue seeing each other. To me, making excuses and canceling plans is unacceptable and saying that we should just “wait it out” seems horribly wrong. Where do you draw the line? If a guy really likes you he wouldn’t act this way. I wonder if this guy I broke it off with will take note of his folly and apologize or if he’s just another ship passing in the night? Time will tell.

Reply February 12, 2012, 6:09 pm

shin7scarlet1

should a guy put more efforts than the girl?

Reply February 12, 2012, 9:38 am

shin7scarlet1

should a guy make bigger efforts than the girl? if so how do they do it?

Reply February 12, 2012, 9:11 am

Ashley

I met a guy a back in August who works for the same
Company as me and had just moved back to the city were in for a job. He knew a friend of mine and she had given him my number. He of course never called. Then in the beginning of January he messaged me on a dating website, not realizing he already knew me. I messaged him back calling him out on it, he did not reply. He then came into work and talked to the girl who had given him my number before and told her how he felt like an idiot and really wanted to ask me out. So he immediately messaged me on the dating site and after a couple of messages we exchanged numbers. We texted and talked that whole weekend and on Monday we went on our first date. We had a great time, talked for hours, and both had the best kiss of our lives (exact words coming from his lips). We talked after the date and he wanted to see me the next day. So we had a day date and then hung out the next night. We then went out two nights later on a Friday and spent the whole weekend together where I met his friends and he met mine. We spent five out of seven days in the next week together. We spent the whole weekend together again. Staying in on Friday night and watching movies, going to a work function together all day Saturday and having an impromptu dinner with my dad and grandparents and then going out with his brother and friend. All the while he has been telling me how scary it is how much he likes me, how he’s always going to spoil me, how he’s so thankful for me to be in his life, how awesome I am, and how happy he is with me. He even got off the dating website three days after our first date and a week after our first date he wanted to be exclusive. Everything felt so natural and easy with us and I had never been swept off my feet like this so I was willing as well. I hadn’t felt this way in a really long time. He even bought me a pillow for his house and we were making insignificant plans for when it gets warmer outside. He was suppose to meet my mom and sis this past weekend at a mice race event. He started transitioning to a new position at work last Friday while continuing to do his current job and finding a replacement for him. We spent the whole
Weekend together and everything was perfect. Monday he worked 8-8 which he continued to do everyday this week. We were suppose to have a dinner date on Tuesday but we had to cancel so I brought dinner to him and we stayed in and watched movies and I stayed the night. Everything was great. On Wednesday he felt distant and we talked about him being overwhelmed at work. On Thursday he told me that all He could offer me right now is a friendship. We talked about it face to face that night after he got out of work and we both cried and he begged me to be his friend because he didn’t want to lose me. He promised that once things settle Down at work that he would give us a chance. He wants to be the best boyfriend he can be and spend every waking moment with me or he thinks I’ll leave him so that’s why he wants to be friends and not date bc of all the stress. Well with me being a girl, I was too pushy. And he texted me yesterday and told me to
Just relax about all of this and that he just needs some time. Then an hour later he texted me and said his feelings have changed, this has to end now, I’m sorry. Then the last text he sent me after I was trying to get answers was “this has gone completely out of control and I’m at work. My job is really important to me. I’m really sorry.” Did I mess things up too badly? Could his feelings have changed that quickly or is he just trying to push me away bc he needs his time? I need some help. He is amazing and I don’t want to lose him for forever. I can stand being without him for a short time but I need help on what to do to get him back. Did I screw it up by being too pushy after he asked for time? Any help or advice is much appreciated. Thank you

Reply February 5, 2012, 12:26 pm

Carrie

Ashley,
From what you are describing, it sounds a little similar to what I went through once. You meet someone, and things start happening too fast. You start spending a lot of time with them, and you envision future plans, etc. For us girls, we need to step back and look at the situation from the outside in at times because we can get a little ahead of ourselves. You put all your eggs in one basket so to speak, and your guy got a little weirded out after a while. It sounds to me like he was testing you to see if you were the needy kind of girl, and you didn’t pass. So he offered you friendship….maybe he was genuine and not testing you… we will never know. But for now, all you know is that this guy doesn’t want to be with you for whatever reason. Frankly, it is his loss. You HAVE to think about it that way.

I know it is hard to think about it right now, but you will eventually move on. Take this as a lesson learned. He is not the guy for you because if he was, then he would not have ended things the way he did. Yeah work gets busy, but it sounds like he used that as an excuse. I would just feel bad for myself for an hour, then get right back on that dating site, and land yourself a new date this week. Show him that he is not going to bring you down.

I now you wanted advice on how to get him back, but you can’t make him want to be with you. He has to want it. That is why I suggested getting back into the dating pool. If he comes around again, and you are not with someone else, then great, but I would be VERY cautious the next go round with him. Don’t jump into anything too quickly, especially not sleeping together, meeting your friends/his friends/parents/family, etc. Keep things light, and enjoy getting to know someone. Also, don’t jump for a guy. If he calls and says lets hang out, I am free now….just say no that you have other plans. Once a guy cancelled our date and rescheduled for the next day because he was hungover. Then he said he wanted to see me that night, and I said I already made other plans…even though I didn’t.

The point is, make the guy work for you. If you let him get away with acting like an idiot, then he knows he can push the envelope more to see what else he can get away with.

Good luck to you! I hope everything works out! :)

Reply February 5, 2012, 1:00 pm

Ashley

Thanks Carrie for your response. The thing that doesn’t make sense is that he was the one pursuing things so quickly. Wanting to see me everyday, texting me sweet things all the time, introducing me to his friends first, getting off the dating website and asking me
To be exclusive. These were all things he initiated. He is very similar to me in the I am and act. We are almost identical. He doesn’t handle anxiety or stress well at all and is actually on medicine for it which I use to be too. Things couldn’t har changed over night. He’s everything I have ever wanted in a guy and we’ve both been hurt so badly before do we both have trust issues. He thinks if he doesn’t spend every day with me or text me every hour that I’m going to leave him. It makes me like him that much more bc he doesn’t want to be anything short of the best boyfriend I deserve. My question is, did I screw it up by being pushy and is there a way to fix this?

Reply February 5, 2012, 6:33 pm

July Garcia

This is one of the dumbest articles I have ever read.
Each person and situation is unique, yet you are trying to suggest that all guys will act like this.
I also feel sorry for the people that believe this BS is true for every guy.

Reply January 26, 2012, 1:42 pm

July Garcia

To the Asker: Maybe it has nothing to do with the guy being insecure but everything to do with “he thinks you are great but he has noticed some annoying traits about you and is wondering if he can stand being around you all the time??”

Reply January 26, 2012, 1:46 pm

Leila

Not always, guys do it b/c he wants to know if he can get better than the girl he’s dating and whether the girl is needy. I’ve talked to guys about it, they do it b/c they want to know how much they’re “wanted” and how desperate the girl is.

Reply April 17, 2012, 4:44 pm

Maria

Hi Eric,
Great article. I had similar thing happen to me as the poster asking the question and can relate it exactly to your description of what guys do. What I want to know is how long you should give it? It’s very hard to play it cool when you like someone but feel they are blowing hot and cold. Also, if someone isn’t putting the effort in and you put up with that for x amount of months then isn’t that like giving them the relationship on their terms? It’s all very well playing it cool and giving the guy space for the first couple of months but doesn’t there come a point where you need to be upfront about what your needs and desires are and say goodbye if they are not being met? How can you tell if a guy needs space and time and is insecure as opposed to playing the woman along?

Reply January 24, 2012, 6:43 am

T

I’ve been in a relationship off and on with a man for a little over 4 1/2 years now. We’ve both done some things we shouldn’t have done. I did drugs, he cheated and was with multiple other women. This past August, I told him everything and he told me a little and asked me not to torture myself by thinking about the stuff he did. We agreed to leave the past in the past for both of us. He still throws in snide comments and smart remarks, sometimes out of the blue. I have quit using, attend meetings, finished my Associate’s degree, and will have 6 months next month. He was a recovering AA member until this past July. He lied about the drinking at first. Got totally drunk one night and said some really mean things intentionally to hurt. I signed my house over a couple of years ago to get out of the area I was in and moved into my ex husbands house where he had an extra bedroom with an attached bathroom. My significant encouraged this and knows there is no romantic involvement or interest whatsoever. I have to talk to this person occassionally when I’m trying to reach out daughter and have stopped that because my significant is uncomfortable with it. I even deleted a childhood friend, 2 men that I grew up thinking were my cousins and none of these do I ever talk to by phone or in person and very, very rarely on facebook. My cousin (?) I spoke to when my mother passed away and it had been over 20 years since we had spoken. My significant says he loves me and wants us, but still continues to talk to ex girlfriends, one in Alabama who sends love messages, texts and so on who is married but still professes her love for him even after talking with me on facebook like a long lost friend. They met in AA and were “friends with benefits”. The other lives just a few blocks away and they too still communicate. I never cheated on him and have been completely honest and upheld my end of what we both agreed to. He lies to me about these women and whatever other ones because I’m convinced they aren’t the only ones. I have a text he sent to the woman who is married to one of his coworkers that are getting divorced telling her he misses her to and to call him anytime. Her daughter babysat for his son and daughter-in-law and he said that I probably took care of that when she found out I was here. He deletes phone calls, texts, etc. Takes his phone to the bathroom with him even when he gets up at 4:30 in the morning. He asked me to stay in bed yesterday morning instead of getting up. Turns out the ex girlfriend whom he fell in love with and evidently wanted her to compromise on somethings including her children, birthday was yesterday. He wished her a “Happy Birthday Chickie” on facebook yesterday morning and then thumbs up her thanks to everyone for the wishes. There are people who make comments that are good ones about us or things here and he never comments or thumbs ups them or says anything in response to people who mention that he must be happy. When he asks me questions or is uncomfortable about something I will answer or talk to him without an attitude or being defensive. I’ve answered all of questions and am doing everything I know to rebuild us and the trust. I text when I leave, when I arrive, he knows what I’m doing at all times and who I’m with if anyone which is only female friends. I have deleted all male friends from my life pretty much. He won’t delete or get rid of the women stating that he doesn’t want to put all of his eggs in one basket because he doesn’t know what is going to happen or if I’ll ever use again. I don’t know what to do here as he is completely unapproachable and gets angry and defensive and always turns the table back onto what I’ve done in my past and avoids talking about anything he has done or is still currently doing. I know he knows it’s wrong. He talks about believing in God and says we’ll go church together on weekends, but most times he finds some excuse not to. Please advise at your earliest convenience. This is ripping my heart apart and hurts so much. I am 45 and have never loved a man like this. I believe in God, committment, and faithfulness as well as loyalty to my partner. He says he does to, but I seem to be the only one really doing that 100% and then some. I’m going to meet with one of the pastors from our church this coming week hopefully so I know for sure that what I’m thinking is right and will know if it’s not. I am totally devoted to my significant and us and our future. I know he’s made some changes and it took God to put me back in his heart, but I really feel that I’m not in the wrong here. I know I have the time and actions thing to prove and I am honestly and truly doing all I can that I know of and I really can’t think of anything else I can do. I’ve tried to talking to him, but he doesn’t want to discuss it and starts yelling, bringing up stuff that we’ve agreed to not bring up so as not to focus on the past or the negative, gets mad, and puts me on ice for sometimes days or longer and then I feel like I’m starting all over again. He says it’s these situations that makes him drink. I’m very scared here and hurting more than I can express. I know he has the potential to be this awesome man and partner and he has even said he has it with the right woman and tells me he’s with the one he wants to be with and says he’s happy. If that’s true, then why is he still doing these things. What do I do here. I’m completely out of ideas. Please help! He means more to me than anything in this world. This is definitely one of those once in a lifetime if you’re lucky to have it loves for me. Sad and scared I am.

Reply January 14, 2012, 1:01 pm

long shot

I am a big fan of your advice and think that this article is really spot on. It reminds me of the “rubber band theory” in Men are From Mars… Asking for advice here is probably a long shot, but I will give it a go:

I have been casually seeing a guy for a couple of months. The last time I saw him was about two weeks ago, and he has since then left and returned from a holiday trip to his hometown.

Everything seems to be going pretty well – he calls me baby, gorgeous, etc… It seemed like we were making progress. Last time I saw him, he called me the next day and asked to hang out, but I had to decline because I had so much work to do. We had tentative plans to hang out a few days later, but he was suddenly being very slow at responding to my texts (said he was busy at work) and I was very stressed out by excessive work so I had to cancel.

When I was done with work, I texted him (as he told me tell him as soon as I was finished) but I got no response. I texted him a couple of more times, eventually asking to make specific plan, and still got no response!

I thought he was blowing me off and trying to end things, although it seemed strange because he doesn’t seem like that type of guy. A couple of days later, he reached out to me on facebook… then I emailed him something light, and he emailed me back using a pet name and saying he was looking forward to seeing me when he got back. The next day he added me on chat…

I chatted him and we had a brief convo, but I am reluctant to make plans. I still don’t understand why he ignored my texts… I don’t know if he felt smothered or if he was upset about me canceling, which would be silly, or if it meant nothing at all! I don’t want to bug him too much by asking, especially if its not in person (if it comes up I might ask). That being said, I really want to see him, but I feel powerless – I feel like if I ask to see him or text him again, that would be desperate/needy.

What can I do? Do I have any choice but to wait? Part of me is very frustrated by how slowly this is progressing…

Reply December 28, 2011, 12:47 am

Rebecca

I am dating my High School sweet heart. We have had a long distance relationship for a while since i have moved. And recently he has just stop really communicating. We usually talk 2-3 times a day and now I am Lucky if we just talk once a day. Every time we make plans he cancels or has a “family thing”. Should I really be worried?

Reply December 5, 2011, 5:41 pm

Trina Greenfield

Just a word of caution. Why the pink background behind the questions and answers? I am a chick, so I love the color, but do you not realize how easy it is to knee-jerk and go to another Website with the same goggled information that is more easy to read? I will never be back to your Website. Why? Because it looks amateur, and the text it drowned in hot pink.

FYI…

Trina

Reply December 1, 2011, 9:12 pm

Eric Charles

Haha, I’ve never heard that one before…
.
But you know… I would be willing to split-test different templates.
.
Whether you like a pink site or not though, has something that nobody else has – grade A unique content.
.
But suit yourself.

Reply December 1, 2011, 11:39 pm

just another reader

But she has a point. The gray on pink is near impossible to read. Just saying. If you need a split test to tell you that it’s killing everyone reading it, go for it. LOL.

Reply December 12, 2011, 11:37 am

Eric Charles

Gray on pink? I think you’re browser is messed up – there’s no gray text on pink background anywhere on this site – all text is on a high-contrast background, as readable as can be.
.
I am considering a facelift on the site, though. Just have a lot on my plate at this moment.

Reply December 12, 2011, 11:56 am

Me

“FYI” really Trina? More like, bit*&8

Reply December 13, 2011, 3:42 am

Shayla

Funny thing, I just had this conversation with the guy i’m seeing. He recently stopped showering me with kisses and feels as though I expect sex from him everytime we’re together. I asked him for understanding. He just kept saying he feels as though I expect him to be a certain way. He suggested that I don’t understand him. So I asked him what am I doing differently now from a month ago to make him feel this way. Surprisingly, he said he knows I want more than where we are right now. So I returned it with a question…Have I asked you for anything more? He said no but…so I told him it’s unfair for him to think for me. I’m enjoying our time together. For some reason he feels as though the time we do spend together isn’t enough for me. Our schedules are so busy that…sometimes we can only meet up for dinner or lunch. He has made his weekends open to me but I don’t utilize them all because I have friends also. The point is, something inside him feels as though it’s not enough. I asked him if he’d be willing to tell me when he feels that pressure from me. He said well If he doesnt feel like talking then he wont. Which I know, but that’s not where I’m going with this….I’m not badgering him to talk, i’m not that female, if he says he doesn’t want to talk about it…I move it right along to something more light. We both have very big egos. I’ve decided to set mine aside and try to learn from our interactions. He’s a really great guy and despite the struggle we’re having…he does treat me very well. He’s very chilvarous and is Johnny on the spot if I need him (sincerely need him which isn’t often). The time we spend together, he appoints to please. I find it interesting he always ask if I had a great time…but I assure him I do every time. What I don’t know is how to hurdle this belief he has about what it is I want and our time together. In the past I have walked away from him…although he states he can roll solo, I have no doubt that’s not what he really wants. Since we’ve been back together (using that term loosely), he’s been initiating all the relationship conversations….children, long term, and our pace. So …any advice on how to hurdle this? How long will this stage last? As easy as it is for me to walk away, I honestly don’t want to. He’s a special kind of dude.

Reply November 22, 2011, 10:39 pm

Carrie

Help! Please. So I met this guy online. Our first date was great, and he even texted me afterwards to tell me how pretty I looked. The following day he scheduled our second date. We met up for our second date and it was great. When he walked me to my car, he initiated the most amazing kiss, and said “i will definitely be in contact with you soon.” And he had me text him when I got home, and he responded that he was glad I was safe. Well the following day nothing. So today I just sent him a quick “good morning cutie” text and he responded. I asked if he had plans for lunch, and he said sorry, i do. So i said “Darn, i was hoping to share another kiss since i am not half asleep this time…haha :)”

I have no clue what to do. He sent me all the signals that he was very interested, but now he is playing it cool or acting different. Any advice? Would he kiss me that passionately if he wasn’t interested ? and would he respond to a text if he wasn’t interested?

Reply November 21, 2011, 11:19 am

Shayla

It doesn’t sound like he’s no longer interested. With all due respect, it sounds to me you’re getting ahead of yourself though. Relax. Although your text message could turn him off you have to believe otherwise. Now if you freak out this early in the game and start calling him or initiating too much, you will without a doubt turn him off. The ball is in his court, so let him chase you. Say to yourself…It was just a kiss, a very nice kiss, the end. I know how hard it is NOT to get all giddy and flustered lol. As much as men enjoy it, it scares them. Oh yes…and stay away from using pet names this early on also…

Reply November 22, 2011, 10:49 pm

Carrie

Why would a guy kiss you if he wasn’t interested? Yesterday we were texting for a little and he said “have a great thanksgiving, lets try and reconnect after”. I am a bit confused by this. Is this just a ‘blow off’?

I normally don’t get this way about guys, and I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was into him until he kissed me that way. We have great chemistry/connection, and share many things in common. He checks off everything I am looking for.

Should I just give him some space and let him come to me?

Reply November 23, 2011, 6:16 am

Shayla

Carrie, how old are you btw? This guy is keeping it light as he should at this stage. You really need to relax, nothing has actually started for you to be so confused about anything, and from the sounds of it, you don’t know him well enough to be CERTAIN he marks your checklist. At this stage you have NOTHING to lose and something to potentially gain. Stop talking via text messaging, allow him to call you or tell him you prefer to talk via phone (everyday can be bad for the long-term) and just have fun. Life, real feelings, and natural relationship transitions will bring enough drama to the mix. As you can read in my own post…but if you’re paying attention at all or even reading your own comment post…know that you need to relax and actually relax. A kiss is just a kiss (until someone has REAL feelings). Don’t text him during Thanksgiving….let him call you to reconnect. Have a wonderful holiday.

Reply November 23, 2011, 10:05 am

carrie

Shayla,
Thank you for your honesty! I am actually 29. With that said…I missed out on the whole dating experience in my early 20s as I was in a 7 year relationship with a man who was belittling and brought down my self esteem and confidence. It has been almost 3yrs since our break up, and I have finally figured out most of the rules of dating through trial and error.
At this point I haven’t done or said anything that was a turn off and have kept things real casual. You are right, I do need to relax and not get too far ahead of myself. I was fine at first, but he kept up contact and made it apparent that he wanted to spend time with me. Then when he stopped acting that way, it made me feel like I did something wrong, when clearly I didn’t. One of my guy friends suggested that its quite possible that he felt he was moving too fast and wanted to slow down, or that because this guy is divorced, he may have some other fears or whatever and they may not be tied to me. I am an amazing girl and have been told that by many people….but it would be great if I believed it. I guess I just need to enjoy the fun times and chill.
I will just let it roll and give him his space. Hopefully, he will come around. If not, oh well. Thanks again for your honesty and advice. You really know a lot about dating.

November 23, 2011, 11:37 am

Sophia

I started seeing a friend from middle school. We reunited through FB. We meet up and had dinner had a really good time conversation wise. At the end we ended up kissing. We meet up again 3 more times. We kept contact by texting each other during the week. He would say things like he misses me. The 2nd time he invited to his house we watched a movie and ended up having sex.. In the middle of it he said he loved me and l didn’t say anything back .. I was in shock in a way.l called him several days later telling him l love him and he said ok.  Then thru a FB message he asked to see me that night and l told him l couldn’t this was only after he had told me earlier that he couldn’t see me. He was upset and said what to you want from me you want to be friends with benefits until your done with your hubby( I”m currently separated) 
I told him l couldn’t do this not right now and by that l meant arguing.. He said fine l”ll leave you alone. And I said not thats not what l want & he said he didn’t either.. A few days past and l didn’t hear form him so l text him and he told me we should slow down… We should be friends for a now. I asked him if he still liked me and he said yes. I asked him of he still loved & he answered I don’t know.. I  was super upset that he was saying this to me so l send him several msg on how he used me out of anger. I keep texting the next 3 weeks. He would only answer my questions. He was acting very cold and distant saying he doesnt want a relationship even though l told him that l didnt either from the start since l”m still not divorced.  We agreed to see each again at this house. We ended up having sex again and in middle of it we said l love you to each other.He caressed my hair and held me hand.   I told him l love him again before l left and he said he doesn’t love me and doesn’t want to hurt me and doesn’t want us to be friends with benefits because he will only hurt me in the end. He told me he was hurt yrs ago and couldn’t go thru it again. He said thats what he does he pushes people away. He even said he knows he we will regret pushing me away but thats what he does .
I texted him the following day.. And he replied back saying l want my space it’s been 2 weeks since I last tried getting in touch with him. I miss so much and l don’t want things to end like this. I need your advise. 

Reply November 16, 2011, 12:04 pm

rob

Bravo! Dead fucking on! Well written!

Reply November 13, 2011, 2:17 pm

Chrissy

I shared this with my girls that always ask me “why?” Very well put. I think a better fix is to just stay single ;)

Reply November 12, 2011, 12:26 pm

Eric Charles

Awesome – glad you liked it.
.
As for staying single – you have a point.
.
But sooner or later, love takes down even the best of us. ;)

Reply November 12, 2011, 5:23 pm

CatintheHat33

Oh Eric I just got caught in the craziest 3 day whirlwind and have come out on the other side confused! Met a man on line; instant chemistry, talking for hours etc. First date: great connection, filling each other in our lives and it ends in a first kiss. THEN the fast forward mush machine,”I never felt like this, I would bet my house that you are the one,etc.” I tell him we need to slow down and get to know each other. No big declearations please! He says he needs to tell me something in person, I am charmed and say sure. He gets a blowout on the way and I tell him if something is meant to be we have a lifetime to discover it no problem lets reschedule. He borrows a friends truck and comes over anyway to whisper, “I think I am falling in love with you.” It’s all very heady stuff and I fall asleep next to him. he wakes me up in intense pain, I have to call 911. We go to the Hospital. He has a 6mm kidney stone. In the heat of the moment (when we dont know what is going on)I am holding his hand and I tell him it’s going to be okay, I love you it will be fine. He tells me back (frankly I think its like a toss away during sex one but that’s fine) we get released that morning. I get one more txt from him saying he had to go back to the hospital but he will call me the next day. I never heard from him again? I did txt for 3 days (once a day) saying things like, “hey sweetpea worried about you hope you are feeling better.” Never heard anything?? Sorry just never been in such a whirlwind or to the er in the first couple of days….is he dead? It has been a week

Reply November 10, 2011, 11:32 pm

aeryn

Just wanted to say that this website has been incredibly helpful to me, Im from France and just moved to the US, started dating a guy whose behavior was a mystery to me so I looked up answers online and just happened to read this article.. everything made a lot more sense to me after. I also asked a question on the forum and Sabrina answered right away with very insightful advice, I followed both you guys advice and the guy did call back. Now I hope I didn’t push him away saying I was busy all week, but I did say I was available on the weekend ( even though he’ll probably be working but never mind).
I also realized how important it is to stay focused on yourself, as a girl we can become so lost because some guy hasn’t done this or said that, and then we lose ourselves. So thanks for helping me grasp the fact that I have to live my own life without waiting for some guy to want me.
Aeryn

Reply November 10, 2011, 3:33 pm

Eric Charles

Hey Aeryn,
.
That’s awesome – glad to hear that this site has been helpful for you. Hope you’re enjoying the US. We’re happy to have you. :)
.
And Sabrina is great. Real glad to have her tag-teaming the forum with me.

Reply November 12, 2011, 5:02 pm

thisgirl

AMAZING ARTICLE! thank you!

Reply November 4, 2011, 11:43 am

Jamie

invisible girl you sound like a total stalker so lets face it drop the twinkie move away from the computer and actually try going after real man because your obviously stalking someone online! stalker!!!

Reply November 3, 2011, 11:15 am

Invisible girl

Dear Eric,
I have a very big problem. I have been using all of your advice but it just hasn’t seemed to help I mean I’ve done everything I’ve commented on all his writings which I love but I can’t help like he serves me up a giant serving of REJECTION!!!! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong I just want to be noticed by him!!!! </3

Reply November 3, 2011, 11:09 am

Eric Charles

Have you joined the mailing list yet? Join the list and then you can post in the relationship forum about it… You’d have to let us know what you’ve tried so far and how’s he’s reacted.

Reply November 3, 2011, 11:32 am

annon

My thoughts: And I’m a woman.
Mistake #1
Why do many women believe so much what a guy says? It is what he does and if his words and action match.
Mistake #2
Why are many women so eager to invest because he’s said some pretty words? It seems desperate to me? He also sounds like all flash over substance AND this is all about him and his ego. You just got caught in his radar. But you can also get out.
Mistake #3
Why do some women want to make a couple so soon? It takes time to get to know who some one really is. Think: “Is this how my dad would have treated my mother?” Or any other couple you respect. He is not respecting you or your time. He wants to call the shots. Move on.
Mistake #4
She stops dating other guys and over-invests in one. He is anybody from anywhere who can say anything.

If he won’t make you his girlfriend or be reliable – date others if you aren’t already. Why sit around and wait for him and give up your own self-esteem and power to some guy? And he is just some guy. Until a guy asks me to marry him he is really just a guy. A man becomes a man by following through, putting his money where his mouth is, or in other words he shows you consistently through actions he wants to be there and be your man.

He sounds very immature and possibly like a commitment-phobe and they are very selfish people whether male or female.
I’m sure you are a lovely person and deserve better. Let a man show you he is there for you. You deserve nothing less.

Please date others.

Reply November 2, 2011, 11:53 pm

constanza

wow Annon! i’m one of those women and i do have made all of those mistakes, just don’t know why i just trust so easily, and you’re so right, I just would like to learn this for good! omg! so many time wasted and so many tears shed… Thank you for sharing this, i will try to keep this in my mind from now on…

Reply December 17, 2011, 4:12 pm

Chirpy

A girlfriend reminded me of that saying “never allow a guy to be your priority, when to him you’re just an option”…we need to remember that! I’ve been in unhealthy relationships before and you’re right Sofie, if all women just refused to be treated that way and ended things the minute we started being treated unfairly, men would stop being able to get away with that.

It’s better to be single and happy than in a relationship and unhappy. As much as I sincerely wanted the relationship to work, there’s a relief to not having to deal with all the uncertainty and it does make you stronger!

Reply November 1, 2011, 8:37 pm

Sofie

Thanks Chirpy and AB for your feedback. Glad to know I’m not alone.

I seriously think the problem is women and the fact that they will sit around and wait for a man to make up his mind whether or not she’s a “challenge”. I think if more women broke it off the second he started exploring his options and flaking out, men would shape up.

Reply November 1, 2011, 5:57 pm

Chirpy

I agree with Sofie. After my last experience, the minute a guy starts withdrawing, I’ll be out of there! Luckily I only wasted two months on the last guy I dated but it was very painful to be getting so many mixed messages. “I love you” on Friday night and not to speak to me all weekend (my birthday too) because he was supposedly having a hard time with his job situation. Would a woman do that to a man…I think not. It certainly is a man’s world:) I’m trying not to be bitter about this but when you feel there is the potential with someone and they end the relationship with no reason, it doesn’t make sense.

Reply November 1, 2011, 4:57 pm

AB

I agree with you ladies to a certain extent–I too felt this way. It was just a few weeks ago that I saw my own withdrawal guy out on a date with a girl who looked very similar to me. This was also days after I sent him a message he nonchalantly ignored.

In any case, I spent months trying to figure out why he kept leaving and then coming back with sweet nothings, only to eventually withdraw again. And then I realized: it’s because I keep letting him come back, picking right back up from where we left off.

At the end of the day, you have the choice to leave and move on. Do you really want to be with someone that treats you more like an option rather than a priority? Perhaps this person may not be the right one for you after all?

I’m going on 8 months single and I couldn’t be happier knowing that Mr. Right is out there and I’m no longer dealing with Mr. Wrong…

Reply November 1, 2011, 5:11 pm

constanza

bravo! omg, i have lived a similar experience and you’r so right!
why guys do this?? fuckin hate those sweet nothings, they just build up expectation and ilusion just to break it, and make us feel dumb, among other things…
i’m from Chile (south america), and looks like all over the world guys do this shity things… well looks like we will just have to learn from this, so one day we just can know better, value and cherish ourself and be able to identidy mr right from all the mr wrongs in the world…

Reply December 17, 2011, 4:22 pm

Jeez

Eric, this is THE BEST STUFF I’VE EVER READ. OMG. Thank you thank you thank you. I only wish I had read this a month ago. I’m afraid my boy’s not coming back. Because when he “freaked out” on me (i.e. things were going great, and then he stopped returning my texts and calls), I actually ended things with him by e-mail. Because I felt hurt and disrespected. Dang, if I only I knew how to stop being needy and hopeful after a few great dates. :((

Reply October 30, 2011, 2:58 am

Sofie

Ditto Jeez. Ditto. Just happened to me too today.

My question Eric, is that why do we have to put up with insecure men like this who freak out? What gives them the right to ”freak out” with us?

Why is there an assumption that I must go at his pace and why is there an assumption that it’s OK for him to be nice to a girl for a month and then withdraw for a month and blame her that she’s sensitive if she gets upset that he pulled away? Why do I have to pretend I’m OK with flakiness, breaking plans, forgetting to call someone back? It certainly is a man’s world and I must play with their games.

Reply November 1, 2011, 4:41 pm

constanza

omg, i just feel exactly the same…
looks like we’ll just have to learn how to play the game…

Reply December 17, 2011, 4:25 pm

Ruwi

Dear friend,

Thanks for the messages, I met this guy at my work place and he was such a nice guy. Things though were moving very fast so I decided to give the relationship a break. And after some convincing I went back to him. However for the one year he never bought for me any gift,never said I love you, although he told me that he has very strong feelings for me and he feels that I am the gal for her, but I dont feel the same towards him.
I invited him to come home for a party and he told me to pack food for him and we meet some where. I thought that was disrespecting and previous I got a hair pin in his bedroom and when I asked him about it, he ran out of the room and I just laughed it off. Then one I day when I was cleaning his bedroom I got condoms wrapped in a paper. I just packed my things and now its five months I havent gone to his place again. And he kept on calling me to meet me and asking why I decided to give him the silent attitude I told him I am busy with work. As I said I work with him, so sometimes he does pass my office asking me the why question. Of late he has been checking me regularly but I have not fallen for it. However, sometimes I think maybe I was harsh on him, what can I do?

Reply October 29, 2011, 2:41 pm

Snicky

I enjoy your articles and need some guidance. I dated a wonderful man for 2 years and had an ex-husband who was abusive and wouldn’t let go. I had a hard time standing up to him and it caused alot of hurt to the guy I was dating. He ended our relationship because he couldn’t continue to live with the way that I handled the issues with my ex (who I have a child with). After 6 weeks of being apart and him dating someone else without telling me ( I found out on my own) but still coming to connect with me through texts, phone calls, and visits, I said all or nothing. He eventually called asked to see me and wanted to try dating again, and told me how much he loved me. After a great first week, in which he answered questions I had about her and why he did things and was very supportive he started to pull back. I pushed forward and became quite needy asking when we would seek each other, making snide comments, and all around being difficult/annoying. He has now denied the facebook relationship request I sent (not really important), not texted me as much, and hasn’t called every day like he was yet he said it was him and I working on this. He connected with my son again and yet now he has pulled totally back. Have I driven him away permanatly? Do I need to have him commit to anything but dating at this point? I feel way more invested in this relationship and when I said that to him he said ” you are”. Should I back off and see what happens or just come to terms with it being over?

Reply October 27, 2011, 7:53 pm

Jane

I have this young professor in one of my short courses attended recently and I noticed that he would always look at me especially if he gives lecture in front. He would always look at me straight in the eye and it will last for quite a few minutes not only seconds and it is being repeatedly done, does he give me some signals for those stare he gave me. And also when I smiled at him if there is some funny thoughts he said in front he will give back to me a very genuine smile from his face as well. He is a nice guy but we haven’t given any chance to talk yet and I have attended the class for 4 days now, but he is doing it since from the beginning of the class. Can you give some insight about this. Thanks in advance by the way.

Reply October 27, 2011, 11:56 am

Danni

Hi,
So i have been seeing this guy for abou 2 months and it’s been going really well we had been seeing eachother quite a bit but then lately with both been busy with uni and exams and other stuff so i had only been seeing him about once a week for the past few weeks which is fine because we both had been busy anyway the last time i saw him was about 6 days ago and then we spoke again the following night we were actually meant to go out for dinner but he had to cancel last minute because he had to help his friend out. Anyway so we pretty much had been speaking every day or every second day and i hadnt heard from him so i messaged him about 2 days ago and still havent heard back from him so its almost now been a week since we have spoken and im not sure why can you please give me advice of what i should do?

Reply October 26, 2011, 11:40 pm

Danni

so ir turns out it wasn’t that he wasn’t interested or that he hated me he claims he has been avoiding me because he was upset with me for one tiny little pathetic issue if he had a problem you would think that he would confront me rather than avoiding me for two weeks over such a small issues what do you think i should do about this guy?

Reply November 3, 2011, 8:11 am

Sweetie_pie

Hey btw what did you do about this guy? I am finding myself in a very similar, almost identical, situation as this and I too do not know what to do.

Reply May 28, 2012, 5:16 pm

Ignoring the Butterfly

Eric-

I just wanted to thank you for your website and all of the insight that you provide as a man. I have gone through a lot of your articles, and in the end, I always leave feeling empowered, and like I can take back control of my emotions and reel in my “neediness” without it affecting my dating life. I truly appreciate you taking the time to write the articles you do, because I feel women (myself included) need to realize that they should never need a man, they should only want a man to enrich their lives even further than they already are.

Thank you for helping me feel more in control. :)

Reply October 25, 2011, 11:06 pm

Eric Charles

You’re welcome. And thank YOU for the compliment, I appreciate that. I always like hearing that what I’ve written helped.

Reply October 26, 2011, 1:15 am

Vana

your advice really works….but of course advice from a really hot guy would ;)

Reply October 25, 2011, 11:30 am

Kirsty

Eric,

I came across your website recently when googling a relationship question and it’s just the best. You’ve helped me out loads already in trying to understand men. I’ve just been in a bit of a difficult relationship recently which he broke off suddenly (he gave me reasons, none of which make any sense) but I have been reading a lot of your articles on here and it has helped so much. A big thank you to you.

Reply October 22, 2011, 11:50 am

Eric Charles

Awesome – thanks. I really appreciate that.

Reply October 22, 2011, 3:53 pm

Carrie

I didn’t tell him I just did it. He just had a hissy fit about it.

Reply October 21, 2011, 3:43 pm

Concern girl

Carrie is sounds like he is immature and insecure. And next time you want to pull away just do it, dont tell him. Take the time you need.

Reply October 21, 2011, 9:24 am

Carrie

I am a little confused. My ex wants to be friends and I want more, and I have told him this many times. I initiated the no contact rule with him at the beginning of this week and he finally got the hint and said, “Two can play that game!” I just told him I have been sick, busywith school, and relaxing right now, so I didn’t want to talk at the moment, but he can play any game he wishes to play. He blocked me on gmail AGAIN, which whatever I do not care, he has done that about 5 times since we broke up 2 months ago. I just think he expects me to start blowing up his phone saying NO PLEASE don’t ignore me too ! I want you ! I am at a point now though, where I am getting tired of waiting, so either way I would be fine. If he came back or if he didn’t. I just want to know if I said the right things and just because he caught my “no contact attempt” it doesn’t mean ignoring him still won’t make him go crazy right?

Reply October 21, 2011, 2:40 am

the north face outlet

I still haven’t gotten a reply to my post above

Reply October 19, 2011, 8:48 pm

Concern girl

Hey Eric, I want to know do you have book out? Is catch him & keep him your book? I like your responses so I am hoping you have a book out or can you recommend any great books. Anyways talk to you later.

Reply October 18, 2011, 8:10 pm

Jasie

I didn’t mean to, but I’ve insulted my now ex boyfriend with his daughter present… saying “quit using me” when I was frustrated and angry at him for being rude to me.
He was wanting to move in with me after dating for 4 yrs, but he wasn’t putting his plans in motion about it. Now, he won’t talk to me, and ignores me. I know I hurt him deeply, and blown his trust. I’ve apologized, and the no contact for almost two months, and still nothing. What now?

Reply October 18, 2011, 7:30 am

GirlWondering

Hey, I was dating this guy for about 6 months. He seem pretty into me, he would call me but was mainly a texter. I began to feel like he was distant so I as him about it, and he said it was nothing. I hate that he prefers to text over calling. As a result, I too became distant. I wouldnt answer his calls or his text. He pursue me, he would call and text saying that he wants to see me and be with me. Now I decided to meet with him for dinner and I ask him, what made you keep texting/calling all this time? He said “I didnt know you would push me away for two months.” I was hoping he would say something like I really like you or want to be with you so thats why I kept pursuing you. His response upset me, so I told him, “it didnt make a difference to me if we are together or not.” I should have put a sock in my mouth because I actually do care. I should have never said that to him and I regret it but now (I am not sure if its solely because of what I said) but he doesnt text as much. I hardly hear from him and it makes me upset. Sometimes I feel like letting it go for good but I cant help but to blame myself for what I had said to him. I feel like I pushed him away. I saw him yesterday, we hang out. He drove to come see, which is a 1hr drive but he only stay for 3 hours and said he had to leave. He said he would leave at 11pm and ended up leaving at 9:30pm. Almost like he was dying to leave me. Now today, I have not heard from him at all. I have decided not to text/call until he does. I am guessing he needs his space and I will give him that. I dont know what to do, How should I get him back? How do I help him realize that I do care? Indeed, it may be partly my fault but I hope by me telling him that he would push forward. I was hoping it would encourage him. Should I just let it go? I feel like I have lost him for good. I dont want him to come around and have sex with me or go out without him seeing me as a “future” prospect. What should I do?

Reply October 17, 2011, 12:41 am

Karen Griffiths

Thanks Eva…the site is very helpful. I guess we really weren’t in a relationship after all even though he indicated we were and called me his girlfriend in front of all my friends. There were red flags from the beginning and I should have paid attention but he always had the right answers and was apologetic. It’s very painful because I honestly thought we had the potential for a great relationship….we had so much in common, except for his lack of integrity it seems!! He did call as promised this morning but then indicated he was on his way out the door and would call later. 6 hours later and nothing…guess he’s just waiting for me to end it…..

Reply October 16, 2011, 5:23 pm

Eva

Hi Chirpy, I know the pain you’re going through because Ive recently recovered from the same sort of incident. We met online and the guy came on really strong. Then he backed away and I thought maybe I did something wrong. I think there’s no excuse for going MIA on your birthday, that’s a huge red flag. Here’s a site that helped me with deciphering the true players from the genuine guys in online dating: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/359187/spotting_the_player_in_the_onlinedating.html?cat=41

Hope it helps!

Reply October 15, 2011, 11:43 pm

Chirpy

I’m in my fifties and started dating a guy a couple of months ago through an online dating website. We had a lot in common and instantly hit it off. After a couple of weeks of seeing each other fairly regularly, spending weekends together and having daily contact, he started withdrawing. I didn’t handle it very well because I felt rejected and thought I was getting mixed messages and thought I was too old to be going through this type of stuff!

We’ve had a pretty roller coaster type of relationship (said I’d never do that again) with me basically giving him a hard time for not following through on dates, cancelling last minute, not responding to texts/phone calls, etc. I actually thought he was seeing someone else at one point but now I think he is just very insecure and also doesn’t handle stress well…he’s also going through major issues with his employment. I’ve tried really hard to give him his space and support him but realize now, especially after reading this article, that I’ve made it worse and pushed him further away. Last weekend was my birthday and he went MIA all weekend (after he told me he loved me Friday night!!)….it didn’t make any sense to me. My friends and my kids now think I should dump him.

I finally called him yesterday after not speaking for a week and being very disappointed that he didn’t recognize my birthday. He just sounds down in the dumps but wants to chat tomorrow. This has really helped me through the process. I’m going to try to be as unemotional as possible, not add any additional stress to his life and maybe we can even resolve this??? Not sure if my friends will ever speak to me again because they just think I’m being a doormat. How do you strike that balance?

Reply October 15, 2011, 10:11 pm

Nicole

Hi Eric!

How would you explain withdrawn behavior AFTER entering into a relationship? I was in a 2 year relationship with a cop who, to me, was very insecure. For the first year, he was very sweet saying much of things that were posted in your blog…even began talking about marriage and moving in together. I was slow and cautious and had my own thing going on and tried to slow things down but he was persistent. As soon as I jumped to his side of the fence, he flipped the script after a year of dating and our families meeting each other and everything. He said I was pressuring him even though I was going along with HIS plan. And when I would pull back, he would start with all the sweet stuff again. And if I continued with my life, he would find some very “bitchy” and petty ways to be hurtful. So I would jump on board and give it another go only for him to flip flop again. It was like no matter what, he was always convinced that I wasn’t into him.

When I was taking it slow, he was testing me with sweetness to see my response…but when I sped up the pace, he would try pushing me away in the nastiest ways possible by accusing me of hurting him. Most of these things were imagined hurts because I didn’t do anything (i.e. when his car got towed he was stubbornly convinced that I had it towed on purpose and hence thought it was perfectly okay to ice me out and be verbally disrespectful). He would also use these imagined hurts to excuse himself from investing into the relationship. I’m patient and tolerant but eventually I lost it after he stood me up one day because it was so out of character from what he normally would do…..

I didn’t see him for 2 months until last week when he texted me to see if he could come over. I said sure and to meet me after work. The morning of, he text me “are you sure you want me to come” and then asks “is this a set up”…seriously WTF??? I politely told him that if he wasn’t up to coming then don’t come and then I said just let me know by the end of the day so I know what time to leave. He said he would come but then never showed up. I was pissed not because I was disappointed about seeing him but that was just rude. He surprised me the next day and came over, help me run errands, and I was appreciative but that didn’t mean I was going to invite him into my bedroom. After 2 months of being a part after all the b.s., I made up a spot for him on the couch. When he left, he tells me to call him. I called him the next morning only for him to act as if I intruded on him by calling and he pretty much hung up on me. He took my parking pass to my apt while he was here w/o permission and refuses to return it because he says he needs it. He was suppose to meet up with me last weekend so I can return what he left at my place and he can give me my pass….but he went M.I.A. I’m so over him but I need my pass.

Sorry for the long comment but Really…what’s with this dude?

Reply October 15, 2011, 5:30 pm

Kelly

I met a trucker late 40’s on a dating site he turned out to be the biggest liar going. He came on strong all the sweet things. I later found out from a friend on same site he was emailing and seeing other women. When I confronted him he said he met another woman and was moving in with her. Wow! Within two months and all along he was sending sex text to my phone. I have come to realize that scam artists are online. They look for widow, separated ladies or one’s that have self esteem issues. If he runs down all his ex’s maybe it’s him and not them? I don’t happen to be a woman with low self esteem so he couldn’t play me for money or a place to live like these poor other ladies. If a man text’s you five times a day, calls you 247, moves too fast or seems too good to be true, ladies he might just be, look out for yourself.

Reply October 14, 2011, 12:15 pm

Cath

I’ve just found your website and couldn’t stop reading it. So many articals I wish I had read before failed my last marriage. So many actions I did I thought was supposed to tell him I love him but now I guess it only told him I was needy…but shouldn’t men keep their vows to love and support their wives and be there for them instead of accusing them needy and obsessed? What should a woman do when her husband knows he has her, and then starts the freak-out phase again, and keep leaving her alone for serious real life problems she really Needs him to solve together? …… If you would write articals about what’s in men’s mind after marriage, or just add that part into your incoming articals, I would love to read them as well ). BTW, when a man says he is in love with a woman and wants her and she is important to him, but he would only email her, be her friend and doesn’t want to be anywhere near her or even talk to her on the phone, should she still believe that he is in love with her? I am ready to move on but hope to figure out these puzzle first to help my next relationship. Please kindly tell me where to look if you have already wrote things could answer these questions. Thank you for all the great info been given already.

Reply October 13, 2011, 5:34 pm

Lily

My guy is in the freaked out phase. Things got too serious, too fast. He just ended an eight year relationship six months before me. We’ve been seeing each other for about four months. He’s distant then he’s all touchy needy. He has described his feelings for me… “like his very first relationship.” Is that a good sign or a bad sign? Should I be worried?

Reply October 10, 2011, 7:51 pm

Ems

Micha,
I don’t think you’re going to get a reply to your post, honey. In an earlier post, Eric said that he tries not to be a “dating advice” columnist – just give his opinion on common issues that we may encounter in our relationships/involvements with men… Your post may be too specific and he may feel that giving his feedback on it would in fact be, “dating advice”….. I could be wrong but those are just my thoughts.

Reply October 8, 2011, 11:18 am

Micha

I still haven’t gotten a reply to my post above

Reply October 6, 2011, 9:55 pm

Amanda

YOU ARE A GENIUS.

Reply October 6, 2011, 5:36 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks Amanda, I try…

Reply October 6, 2011, 9:34 pm

Amanda

Honestly, I’ve heard loads of opinions regarding what to do with the guy I’m seeing, from friends, family, my therapist… but your insight really shows the other side of the situation. We’ve been dating for 6 months, and he started to withdraw and become distant. I talked to him about it and he said that he was sorry and that he still wanted to be with me. (In this conversation I end up crying and demanding attention which probably made him withdraw even more…)

But nevertheless things haven’t changed much, he’s still distant and more importantly, he hasn’t asked me to officially be his girlfriend. So I’ve decided to back off and focus on my life and not take the role of a committed person before I actually am. Thank God I have loads of friends, a very demanding career and a loving family.

But, I’m afraid that if I back off too much and play it too cool, that he’ll end up thinking that I lost interest in him altogether and end up losing him. So, how can I be drastic enough in concentrating on other aspects of my life, for him to notice something’s changed and create a positive reaction in him, without being too self-focused and end up screwing things up and losing the guy?

Reply October 10, 2011, 2:14 am

Nikki

I would love an answer to this very question…

(I’m in pretty much the same rocky, cracked boat…lol)

Reply February 23, 2012, 8:18 am

Eric Charles

Let’s take a step back from this…
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At some point, you fixated on this guy and your relationship to him as something more than it is.
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Maybe you think that having a committed relationship will fill a void for you. Maybe you feel that it will complete you in some way. Maybe it will prove to you that he really cares or loves you.
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Problem with this is: When you fixate on a guy/relationship to give you something (fill a void, confidence, companionship, inspiration, etc.), a very destructive shift takes place.
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On a subconscious level, you are always comparing what you are getting to what you WISH you were getting. When you get that “something”, you feel like you’re on the top of the world. And when you don’t get that “something” from him (maybe he says he doesn’t want a boyfriend-girlfriend situation… or he doesn’t call or text as often as you’d like… or he doesn’t show you his love in the way you want…), then your world falls apart.
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Worse, a lot of women tell me what that they’re not getting what they NEED from the guy. Let me be clear: In this day and age, you don’t NEED anything. You don’t NEED him to provide oxygen to breath, shelter to protect you from weather, food to eat or water to drink. Those are needs.
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The fact is, as long as you remain fixated on him as a “goal to be attained” (that is, to have him re-emerge from withdrawing and want to be in a relationship with you), he will continue to withdraw.
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Why is this?
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It’s because people can feel when you want them to be your emotional crutch. People can always feel your neediness.
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Neediness is a state of mind. Again, it’s that feeling that you NEED the other person to be a certain way or your world will fall apart.
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The solution? First, STOP being needy.
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You have it set up in your mind that if he were just a certain way… or if the situation were different… or if he just became your boyfriend… everything would be great!
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Well… that might feel true right now, but regardless of whether or not it really would be true: It is NOT what’s happening right now. It is NOT reality.
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The reality is that you’ve been seeing this guy for a while. He said he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend or for you to be his girlfriend.
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I’m sure he gave you some convincing reason: he’s not ready, he’s not in a good place right now, he’s too busy, he’s still getting over his ex, etc.
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THE REASON DOESN’T MATTER. The reason is to soften the blow of the truth, which is: He doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend.
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The only solution to this is simple… but simple does not mean easy.
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The solution is that you start meeting new guys. You don’t have to sleep with them or kiss them or anything. But start expanding your options… because after all, he’s not your boyfriend.
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Sure, you may have planned your wedding day and the birth of your first two children, but those are just fantasies in your mind. Again, not reality.
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The other side of this is that you fill your life with things that really engage and fulfill you. There are things you’ve always wanted to do that you’ve been putting off. Now would be the time to start exploring those, so that you have exciting things in your life to fill you up versus looking to your relationship to fill you up.
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Yes, I understand this is tough because you don’t want to give up on your guy, so this is a hard recommendation to hear.
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But… a funny thing happens when a guy sees that a girl doesn’t need him as an emotional crutch anymore and she COULD take him or leave him (if she wanted)…
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He starts making an EFFORT! If he wants to keep you, he TRIES to… instead of just taking you for granted when he knows you’re not going anywhere.
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Moreover, when a guy thinks that he could potentially lose you to another guy… suddenly he makes the decision very quickly on going out with you. If you had a shot at all in the first place, he’ll finally pull the trigger and make you his girlfriend.
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But this only happens when you actually, truly DO have options and could leave if the relationship isn’t fulfilling you – you can’t fake it or bluff (if you try to fake it or bluff, I promise it will massively backfire).
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Hope all that helps answer your question.

February 23, 2012, 10:53 am

Ayesha

Hello everyone,
I have a quick question and if anyone can answer it, I would really appreciate it. I’m trying to figure out how i can get some feedback on my situation here. I have sent an email to Eric in early September at the following email address (askaguy@anewmode.com) but no reply yet. I even left a couple messages here but no reply. I’m not sure if i have sent the email to the correct address, so if anyone can direct me to where i can get some advice, that would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
Ayesha

Reply October 6, 2011, 3:03 am

Dorothy

Have you tried posting on the forum yet?

Reply October 6, 2011, 10:03 am

Ayesha

Thanks for the quick reply Dorothy, I must say it was fast and the only reply i ever got here….
And no i have not posted to the forum, because its extremely lengthy and someone else i know uses this site, so i don’t want my story out there for that person to read. But can you send me a link anyway, i might just do it because i just need opinions and any advice i can get at this point in time. Also i have noticed every time i try to post there the page never loads correctly, maybe i just can’t use this site properly.

Reply October 6, 2011, 3:32 pm

Dorothy

Hey,
This should be the link:

http://dating.anewmode.com/

Mostly, really long stories don’t get much response, so if you can shorten it, you’ll have more chance getting an answer. Good luck!

Reply October 7, 2011, 3:29 am

Prettybrownie

Mine has just gone MIA its been a month now. He missed my bday bt called the day after to tell me he hadnt seen me go to church on that day. No mention of bday or belated! Okay him n I arent dating yet bt we like each other.Problem he always calls n wants to c me NOW n I always turn him down coz I dont want to b his last minute option.He told me to give him a missed call ANYTIME I want to go out or do anything. He always phones back. I recently did that on a Thursday to set up a date for Sunday.He said he was free on Friday to Sunday n I told him I was free only Sunday.He agreed to meet up but he said nothing abt time or picking me up, so I got the hint. From then I stopped calling him,well miscalling him. He then called me twice,once after every two weeks which is what I used to do to him! But it was the last minute calls n then he went MIA until the day after my bday. Well I have to mention that this guy seems to really like me bt he told me our friendship is a 2way thing,true bt isnt the man supposed to persue the woman? Goodness I want to b pursued! Bt he tells me he wants me to call him. I need to mention that he is very wealthy so most probably used to women chasing him so he seems to expect that from me too,nt goin to happen.I def. think he is in the freakout phase coz we were starting to have regular contact n it was him doing it! Hope Im right:D I really like this man,sorry if I sound horrible, bt if theres another woman hes seeing, I hope she messes up so he come back to me:, Eric ta for your advice,u helped I was so lost as to what was happening.

Reply October 5, 2011, 9:31 am

I_love_Audrey_Hepburn

It always seems like when women think (or are led to believe) that a ‘relationship is right around the corner’ that is when they are most likely to blow things up for themselves. Raised expectations and a neediness to connect are often the drivers. Women need higher self-esteem, boundaries and respect for themselves to avoid this happening. A clingy , needy or jealous woman is the ultimate turn-off for any man sizing up the potential of a new relationship. The young lady above went into ‘over-compensation’ mode at the hint of doubt (even over something trivial) and laid her feelings bare at an inappopriate time. I would say reclaim your sense of identity and stop obsessing over this guy as first priority! Then let him come to you, at his own pace and let it progress naturally without force. If it’s meant to be more than a passing flirtation, that’s how you should let it unfold. First and foremost: relax! The world (and your presumably young) life isn’t going to stop, just coz a guy doesn’t wanna hang out with you one weekend. He may be genuinely tired, so give the poor guy some breathing space, and if he wants to get in touch he will.

Reply October 5, 2011, 7:13 am

Elenor

Basically I have been seeing a guy that I know really likes me, everyone tells me soo. My firends, his friends/roommates, and even his roommates girlfriends. The way things were going it seemed like a relationship was right around the corner! Then one night he cooked me this great dinner, unfortunately I had one to many beers, and while we were talking about past relationships I made a DUMB comment about how I found relationships in college to be pointless and dumb soemtimes. I said it without thinking. It was directed towards relationships I had in the past but not him. After that he became a little distant, I was worried but thought maybe I could show him how i really felt. Well then he left for the weekend to visit a (male) childhood friend, but he didn’t tell me/mention it/nothing. He left on thursday, and I found out on Saturday when I asked what he was doing. It was short, he basically just said he was out of town. I was worried, so I texted him on Sunday to see if he would want to hangout, he said he was too tired. Understanable. So three days after he got back I figured it was prob over, and I decided I may as well clarify what is going on.
I asked him why he hasn’t been wanting to hangout as often
He replied that he was tired from his trip (he didn’t realize i had been refering to the past 2 weeks)
So I said that I meant that I felt like we were on different p ages and I know he is busy but I felt that I was more into it than him.
He asked what page exactly I was on
I said the page where I like you and I’m wondering if this is going anywhere or not, because I don’t want to get hurt
his response was that he is not the kind of guy that dates/is with more than one girl, but he didn’t want anything serious because he is joining the navy after graduation but that he likes hanging out with me

There are many different way I can take this, that he wants an exclusive hookup(or something to that), that this is a cop-out for him later one, or that I should forget about him. The thing is I feel like this all would have been avoided had I not made that one comment…I truly do believe that he likes me and he is definately not the player type which is why i like him. (trust me I have dated alot of players, so I can tell the difference)
What is your take on the situation?

Reply October 5, 2011, 1:12 am

Micha

A man reached out to me soon after I joined an online dating website. We are both in our 40’s. We emailed and texted for over a week. We met and it was like we had known each other forever and we both commented to that effect. We were immediately comfortable around each other and making out was amazing! We had a lot in common, have children the same age, and we saw each other for 3 nights straight. He even cancelled plans to see me on the 3rd night and I didn’t ask him to. On the 4th night, we had sex. It was great, also. The next day, he completely withdrew. We had plans over the weekend and he cancelled them with me. He told me during our first few days together that he had been waiting for a woman like me, he could easily fall in love with me, he wanted me to meet his friends, he wanted to take me to meet his family (he is from Europe), and he seemed completely crazy about me texting me all day, etc… Then, he says he wants to “slow down” right after we sleep together. I reacted badly because I haven’t dated in over 20 years and don’t really understand the rules now. I feel like I am in my 40’s and sex shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I can’t help it, I hadn’t had sex in a year and I was very attracted to him. I was mad because it is rare that I don’t have my kids and they were going to be gone for the weekend and I was looking forward to plans with him. So, I let him know I was upset, but I found other things to do. I am sure I sounded “needy” to him. On Sunday, I see him on the dating website all day! So, I felt like I was “played” and I texted him telling him so. He texted and called me back and acted upset that I felt that way and he was mad. We don’t talk again for several days and I am heartbroken. A friend of mine tells me he is a “player” and she emails him acting like she met him on the dating website and tries to meet up with him. He responds and seems a little apprehensive, but he makes plans to meet her (a complete stranger!). Another friend of mine had contact with him the year before on a dating website, but they never ended up in a relationship, says she texted him to show me he is a “player”. He responds to her, also. She said she wants a “special” picture from him, so he sends her a picture of his penis!!! I was really upset and felt really used and “played”. Another friend of mine is ticked off and puts a nasty comment with his name on the website “Dontdatehimgirl.com” without me knowing. He calls me the next day and is upset and wants me to take “my” post down. I look it up and I am horrified. I apologized to him, told him I didn’t do it, and said I would take care of it. I spent the next 4 days trying to figure out who put the post up so I can get it taken down. No one would admit it and all of my friends say he deserves it and I am stupid for trying to help him get it removed. I didn’t feel it was write to “out” anyone publicly like that since it showed up under a Google search of his name and he has kids! v So, I write and write to the website telling them I was impersonated and I wanted the post taken down. After 5 days, it was taken down and he said “thank you”. I then asked him for a reason why he withdrew from me, but he would not answer and said “I really wish you the best”. He was really sweet and a gentleman when he was with me and his feelings seemed very real for me. However, his behavior with other women was quite different. He told me he didn’t lie to me and that he didn’t want to have sex that soon and I “pushed too hard”. He sure didn’t act like he was being “pushed” into sex and he doesn’t seem to have problems with other women and sex and sending pics of his “junk”. I get an email on Facebook yesterday from some girl he has met on the dating website telling me he told her everything and that I should apologize to him. I don’t owe him an apology for anything! The only thing I ever did was get angry with him for breaking plans with me and asked him to explain himself to me. I can’t help that my friends harrassed him. I blocked her and didn’t answer her email. I texted him and told him to “not use me to make himself look more appealing to someone else” and to ask this girl not to contact me. He responded, “I’ll tell her and I’m sorry. Take care”. Why is he talking to some new girl about me? I can’t help but feel like I messed up a real connection with someone on one hand, but on the other hand, I feel like maybe he might be a really awful person. I am so confused by his behavior. I can’t stop thinking about him, though, and I am not interested in dating anyone else. A psychic I trust and is NEVER wrong told me he did not have good intentions when he met me, but he was surprised that he had “real” feelings for me and it scared him, but he would be back in a few months. He said we were meant to be together for the rest of this life. I haven’t seen him for almost 3 weeks and we don’t run in the same circles, so I doubt I would ever just “run into” him somewhere. I am not going to contact him and I feel like he probably won’t contact me again. I said some pretty mean things to him out of anger, but he deserved it. I also told him I was completely disgusted that he would send pics of himself like that to women and I told him his penis was “nothing to brag about” which I am sure hurt his ego. If he would have talked to me the way talked to these other women and sent me pics like that, I would have ran away! If he does contact me, I won’t know what to do, honestly. This whole thing is so “messed up”!! What do you think?

Reply October 1, 2011, 2:29 am

Aimee

Thanks for the comment Lucy! After thinking about it for a week, I know I’ve made the right decision in not contacting him. We’re on different pages in life right now, and I just need to let it go!

Reply September 24, 2011, 12:25 am

Eva

Great article but maybe too late for me. OK so my guy was going through a freak out phase. See he freaked out on me once and broke it off because he didn’t want a relationship. Then I panicked and told him how much it hurt and that I’m fine with not having a relationship. Big mistake! He called me a few hours later and apologized. I accepted it but I think it made me look weak. Then I felt like he took advantage of my weakness and started contacting me less and less. Each time with an excuse and apology. I was getting more and more miserable because I didn’t believe his excuses. He said he’s busy with work, family, friends, etc. Until today I couldn’t take it and told him I don’t want to hear excuses anymore. He said there’s nothing he could do about me not believing him. He didn’t offer to talk it out or anything. I figure it’s a bad start to a relationship and I cant handle this stress. So I said I’m done. He acted shocked like “wow, ok then.” Seems to me that if he cared he would make the attempt to call and talk. Since we didn’t have a relationship, should I have just waited for him to spring back? If the possibility was left open, I couldn’t move on and I was feeling like crap. I still hope he calls and talks it out with me. I’m not backing out of my decision but just for future reference. We had a good thing going but this break up was my way of showing him that I’m not his doormat. Do you think I did the right thing?

Reply September 23, 2011, 1:36 am

Lola C

Ting Ting Ting… Light switch on! Love this post, relates so much to what Im goin thru at the moment. You give awesome advice Eric. The freak out phase done & dusted – wish i read this before i went thru that… 1st he freaked out, then I freaked out… lol but thanks to this post I know how to deal with it. If he ends up with me great, if he doesnt, oh well. Ive learnt for next time.

Reply September 21, 2011, 5:44 am

Dorothy

Hi,
I just really wanted to thank you for this great post. I found myself in this exact situation over the last few weeks and now could recognise what this guy was doing: a textbook ‘freak-out’ after 2 months of him being attentive and sweet. So I gave him one last chance, gave him a call and made plans. Then he flaked and canceled last-minute claiming to be busy/hungover etc.. So for my own closure, I sent him a text along the lines of: okay, I get it, good luck with work, get well soon.
And subsequently deleted his number to stop any future neediness when I’m feeling lonely.

It just made me feel so much stronger to take over the situation instead of waiting and worrying. So again: thank you!

Reply September 19, 2011, 4:10 am

sam

I have really enjoy reading your website, great work.

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 6 years, everything has been great until last year he has not see me at all, because of the hard time he is going through. each time we arrange a time to meet he cancels at the last min and there is always a excuse for it each time, not only this he never answer my calls only text once in a while when he needs me, when I need him he is never there for me anymore. I spoke to him last night and he mentioned marriage if he was serious he would make time to see me. I been hurt really badly but I don’t have the courage to face up to this situation anymore I don’t know if he still want to be with me. I told him I loved him but he never said anything back I really need you help

Reply September 18, 2011, 7:16 pm

Aimee

Hi Eric,

Enjoyed reading your site, by the way!
I experienced “the freak out” with this guy I was dating about 5mos ago. We had dated for a month, he pulled away with no response all of a sudden, but sent me a text 10 days later telling me he was out of town (he travels a lot for work). I responded, but acted like nothing was wrong and didn’t ask any questions. I texted him one night a few days later, asking if he had made it back in town yet, which he responded 48hrs later that he had. After that, I told myself I was done and that he clearly wasn’t interested in me anymore.

3 weeks later, he texts me one night asking how I’ve been and that he’d been out of town again for awhile. I responded, acted like nothing was wrong but casually asked “so what’s up with the text, since you’ve been MIA for awhile?” He responded that due to being out of town for work, his MIA was valid, that’s he’s been thinking about me & what a good time he had with me.
I told him I understood his out of town for business obviously, but he checked out on me a month ago and didn’t bother responding to me. I told him i thought we were having a good time together & he should’ve told me if he felt differently.His response was that he’d been helping his family in any spare time that he’s had in between and that he WAS having a good time with me.
At that point, I didn’t respond. I was too angry & felt that was a lame excuse because he could easily have sent me a message letting me know. I had really started to care for this guy before he disappeared. So, thats where it was left- unresolved.

This was 5mos ago. I’ve thought about him every day and wonder if I should’ve given him another chance, but he hurt me terribly and I felt I should stand my ground. I haven’t heard from him anymore, which lead me to believe that maybe I did the right thing. I’ve always been told if a man really wants you, he’ll come after you no matter what.

My question is, should I contact him after all this time, just to say I hope you are doing well? I don’t expect a response, but have my doubts if I should bother at all.
At this point, i kind of want him to know i miss him- but don’t want to put that out there so i can get hurt again.

What do you think? Is that a wise move or no?
Thanks!!

Reply September 17, 2011, 12:24 pm

Lucy

If I were you I wouldn’t text him again. You did the right thing. Even if you text him right now and he responds. He’ll act the same as he did before and imagine feeling like this for another 5 months after he goes MIA again. Do your best to move on and stay strong.

Reply September 23, 2011, 1:09 am

Ayesha

Hey Eric,

I don’t mean to sound annoying but i was wondering if you received my email that i sent out last week, and if you had gotten the chance to read it and reply back. I would really appreciate your view on my situation. I’m running out of patience with the situation i have and don’t see what i can do to relive myself from the stress its causing me. Please try to reply back.

Thank you,
Ayesha

Reply September 16, 2011, 1:23 am

Tiffany

Thanks for the feedback. Maybe you should also do an article or post about how to react and what to say to a guy once he does contact you again after the freak out phase. Because I’m sure being a bitch because you’re annoyed he took so long defeats the purpose also lol. Keep up the great posts Eric!!!

Reply September 15, 2011, 4:30 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks Tiffany. Good idea – if you keep me posted, maybe the article will write itself. :) Let us know.

Reply September 15, 2011, 5:37 pm

Eric Charles

I don’t mean to give you a “slippery” answer, but try not to think of it in terms of time, but rather “psychological space”.
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This may found funny, but a guy can still “feel” if you’re watching his every move and waiting for him to come around.
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Ironically, it’s when the woman truly just does her own thing and isn’t paying attention that the guy usually comes back and says he’s been a fool and then you talk it out.
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See – if I were to say “one week” or “two weeks”, then I would have women taking that as a benchmark and holding their breath during that time period, watching and waiting for him to come around. That would undermine the whole solution.
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In a way, it’s probably instinctual for a guy to need to know that his woman really knows how to “give him space” before he deepens the relationship. Look at this as a practice in having a deeper relationship.
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As for whether or not he’s no longer interested… if he “broke up” with you before his freak out, then that might not really be a freak out. That might be a break up that you’re hoping was a freak out.
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But if things were going great and then he got weird and started withdrawing, then that’s more typical of a freak out. The trick is to not freak out yourself…

Reply September 14, 2011, 11:49 pm

A. Poeetic

That’s interesting…a similar situation happened to me Eric. However, everything was going great, he would hang out with his friends on the weekend and I wouldn’t hear from him as much but I was fine with that for the most part. Well there was no real “freak out” phase. Just all of a sudden one weekend he just told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship even though we’d previously discussed it and before he was all for one. He just gave me the “a lot going on in my life” excuse. However, he’s still trying to stay in contact…does that mean he’s no long interested? Because technically there was no freak out phase he just hit me with it randomly.

Reply March 14, 2012, 12:53 pm

Tiffany

If you back off when a guy is going through the freak out stage, how long after not contacting you before you know it’s not him needing space and instead that he’s really not interested anymore? Any time guide? One week? Two? Less or more?

Reply September 14, 2011, 9:55 pm

Eric Charles

You rock – thanks for the comment, I appreciate it.
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Hope you’re on the ANM Dating List because I send my best stuff out through there.

Reply September 14, 2011, 5:47 pm

Yolie

LOVE YOU! You have made me wiser. I love your articles very eye-opening, and blunt; which is a breath of fresh air!

I read them on a daily basis, you know for future reference. Thanks Eric

Reply September 14, 2011, 2:52 pm

tammygee

my fear is that during the freak out phase, i lost my cool and sent him tons of messages and he basically told him that freaked him out (didn’t realize how accurate the description was). now i pissed him off and he is taking his time that he expressed needing. is pushing them away during the freak out phase the absolute worst thing, he said something about seeing what the future would bring. sounds to me like it is over, but thanks for your site and advise, will definitely not contact or send any messages until I hear from him, if I every do again. lol is it possible that he could get closer again? even after i pushed him so far away?

Reply September 13, 2011, 4:47 pm

2thehilt

Hi Eric,

I ran across your website today trying to find some advice for surviving the “freakout” period (happy to know that it has a name, btw). Anyway, thanks so very much for this post. It gave me a great deal of peace and I was able to drop the worries about my guy friend’s aloofness – straightaway. At least I know now that I am on the right track – (i.e not calling him, giving him space and making awesome plans for myself (i.e NFL game with friends, heheheh).
Anyway, your site is awesome. Keep up the good work.

With sincere gratitude,
2thehilt

Reply September 12, 2011, 8:53 pm

Patience

Hey Eric
Thanks so much for the good advises you always give.
I have been dating this guy for over 4 months now on and off.
He was once on a freak out phase and was ok for 2weeks and went back again.
To me he seems like he is not sure of what he really want.Its emmotionally draining for me and I’m diciding to move on.The problem I can’t really tell him in person because he does not answer my calls.I have not seen him now for 3weeks.I hate to break up with a text or email.I don’t mind to just forget about him but I still have my personal stuff at his place and I would like to get back. Is it advise able to send him text or email telling to bring it back?
Thanks
Patience

Reply September 10, 2011, 6:52 pm

Uggs

This is excellent. I come here all the time and its post like this that are the reason. Keep up the great work.

Reply September 9, 2011, 1:30 am

Eric Charles

Thanks Uggs – I really appreciate that. I do my best to give you good stuff.
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If you like the posts here, then make sure you get on the ANM Dating Newsletter because I give away my best stuff there (plus it’s more interactive between me and our readers).
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Check it out if you’re not on already.

Reply September 9, 2011, 12:55 pm

Ayesha

hi Eric,
I have spent so much time reading these posts and absolutely love them. I really like your detailed responses and suggestions so we all know what to do and how to go about doing it. I’m going through a real tough time, and since your advice really is helping a lot of people, I decided to share my story with you as well, and was wondering if you can help me with my situation. I wanted to keep my situation confidential so I emailed you at askaguy@anewmode.com, and hope you can please reply back as soon as possible.
Thanks,
Ayesha

Reply September 8, 2011, 9:28 am

baidu456

This weblog appears to recieve a great deal of visitors. How do you advertise it? It offers a nice individual spin on things. I guess having something authentic or substantial to post about is the most important thing.

Reply September 8, 2011, 5:18 am

Lucy

I met a man who I have been dating for more than 1 month now. Problem is that the only direct way I have to contact him is by email. He has a cell phone that does not have the voice mail set up so cannot leave a message. I can text him but he does not text me back. He does call me once a day after his work day but should I want to call or text him I cannot reach him or get a response. He does answer my email.

He recently took a job in another country has continued to email, calls once a day, tells me about his day, how much he misses me and wants to see me again. I still cannot call or text him because he has no phone he carries and uses Skype. When he left he said he wanted me to come and visit him there and wanted to continue our relationship. I recently asked when I would see him a gain and hé said September would be busy. I asked about October because I have vacation in October and he said we will see. He said he is working and his computer is like family and if I didn’t mind him working that we may be able to work it out. He said well my friends are waiting for me I need to go I will call you tomorrow.
I guess I am wondering if I will see him again. I also wonder why someone would have a phone with no voicemail, so people can call and leave messages, and why he doesn’t respond to text messages . I get one phone call a day that is it and maybe an email. When I asked about the voicemail he said he doesn’t need it .

Reply September 7, 2011, 11:56 pm

amber

i’ve been dating this guy for a few weeks now,which isn’nt very long but i really like him alot.In the beginning he would tell me how beautiful i was,how he really liked me and wanted me to be his girl.I would receive text messages from him all day telling me how he missed me and could’nt wait to see me again,and he would even come to see me on his breaks from work.Well in the last three or four days he has started to withdrawl the conversations are not the same he will just quietly sit on the phone,no more text messages sayin sweet things ,it just seems as somethin has changed.And tonight he was suppose to have came over for dinner he called me said he would be here in a hour,no show than called an hour later telling me that he was at his grandmas and he had to stay with her because she was upset about his grandpas death and today was his birthday.He basically said that he cant make it and that we can spend the weekend together,i was really upset but tried to compose myself and just responded with okay”.Im trying to avoid being a doormat but i also dont wanna freak out on him , i keep busy and let him contact me ,i’m just totally lost on what to do or say when and if he calls me again.These situations always seem to happen to me and i think he may think that i am a doormat ,PLEASE HELP!!

Reply September 7, 2011, 9:15 pm

Lane

After exchanging emails through a dating site, the guy emails phone number and email address where we start texting/emailing. It’s only been 4 days. One whole day we exchanged texts/pics till late at night. The next day, after the holiday weekend, I recieved no texts until I initiated and then they started to be just one word responses like ” wink” or “ok” or “hmmm” or when I texted and asked if there was anything he wanted to share , his response was “I’m thinking” and that was the last text of the nite.. .. he never said what he was “thinking”What does this mean if he has clearly indicated in interest in me and the photos and spent the time texting for hours? We have not spoken on the phone yet and not sure when that should take place since it’s still so early on.. Should I wait for him to initiate anything further and what should be the next phase? I’m new at this. Thanks

Reply September 7, 2011, 12:35 am

Tiffany

This is genius. One of the most insightful things I’ve read in a long time.

Reply September 6, 2011, 1:13 am

Eric Charles

Thanks Tiffany – that’s my favorite kind of comment. ;)
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Make sure you’re on the e-mail list – lots more articles and content there from me and Sabrina.

Reply September 6, 2011, 12:52 pm

Tiffany

I signed up right after reading this. Looking forward to receiving the info!

Reply September 6, 2011, 11:05 pm

Eric Charles

Cool – I’m glad to hear that. I’ve got a new e-mail lined up for tomorrow that I’m really excited to send out. Hope you like it.
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Unfortunately, to anyone reading this after today will have missed out…

Reply September 6, 2011, 11:36 pm

Christina

I just wanted to say how amazing and insightful you are! I have spent over an hour reading your articles… and they make complete sense. I had met someone online 8 years ago – he was a good guy, but he freaked me out. We remained friends and he has always been available to my random texts. He jokes and says “I always know when you’re single.”
I had a separate on/off relationship for 4 years that just ended last Nov. So this summer I decided to date my friend… really stop putting up a wall and give him a chance. I always knew in the back of my head he could be the one if I let go of my fear (of a nice guy I know – crazy…) Anyway a few weeks ago his frequency of texts slowed down, I must have forgotten he has his own life and is busy – because after a few drinks he did text me hello for the day – but I end up telling him he confuses me. He asks why, he was being sweet, well I let my insecurities out and mentioned he added some hot chick to FB and it shouldn’t bother me, we’re friends.. but now we’re more than friends. He apologized if he hurt me but I shouldn’t judge FB as real life. Anyway, he pulled away, I asked like a week later if he was pushing me away because I deserved it, he said “no just a little timid after FB” anyway… instead of just relaxing and letting him be, possibly forgive me for my jealousy/insecure/slip I have texted that I miss him (I miss you too), I want to see him (I want to see you too) but he has been non-responsive to anything I’ve sent the past few days.

Silence hurts but I need to remember that I made the stupid move and I should let him have some time to get over my behavior and miss me.

Thank you so much for opening my eyes! :)

Reply September 6, 2011, 12:12 am

Rose

Wow! This is amazing it explains everything and makes total sense. I wish i had read it a few days ago my date/boyfriend that I had been seeing clearly went into the ‘freak out’ stage. The first time I totally ignored it then he did it again and I totally freaked too!! I tried to call him but no answer so I sent him a break up message it was very kind and friendly said he was a great guy but i felt the ‘shift’ and did not understand it so I was going to start dating again… Which i will.

If I had known this I may have waited but he didn’t text or respond to my call which is just plain bad manners surely? I really liked him but could not tolerate that level of disrespect it upset me so much. Miss him like a crazy woman now….

Reply September 3, 2011, 12:47 pm

Cady

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your help! I was just googling random things and issues I had with an ex recently and you clearly answered all of my un-answered questions, thank you thank you thank you! There are definitely many more fish in the sea :)

Reply September 1, 2011, 11:59 pm

melody

i’m all bummed out. we started msging each other in march and used to text every day/video call all the time and everything seemed to be fine up until this past month. we havent messaged as muchand when we do its short and today he went off about how affection makes things boring then annoying because i remarked he had said something cute and hadnt done that in a while since we started talking and then when i went um.. he played it off as if he was just kidding. is he in his freak out phase or should i just let go and end my contact with him by withdrawing. it was just sounexpected it threw me off. :(

Reply September 1, 2011, 9:36 pm

Chrysanthemum

Uh, finally. That’s what I came here looking for. Should I send him a Happy Birthday message during Freak Out Phase? Yes, was the answer…keep it simple and say something. Gee, what do I say? It has been over a year! But at least he just did something that verifies “it’s not over yet”. I feel stupid though, because if he doesn’t reply (like he didn’t the last time I was in town) then I open a wound for myself (he doesn’t know this) that has been closed. But then again, since he actually made a subtle but definite move recently, my message to him could be a “fig leaf” back into our close friendship (he must have been scared away when I shared too much in a letter prior to arriving in town). So I guess I will say, “Happy Birthday”! Is that simple enough?

Reply August 29, 2011, 9:17 pm

Eric Charles

Yeah – that’s fine. And just take it for what it is – just one single text message. If you read too much into it, you’ll end up causing yourself a lot of unnecessary stress.
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Send a “Happy Birthday” just as a nice gesture and let it be. If nothing happens, you’re truly no worse off. If he responds great. One step at a time.

Reply August 30, 2011, 12:26 am

Chrysanthemum

Thank you so much! Hey, I’m laughing…one of the songs my friend once gave to me was called “One Step at a Time”. I think I’m getting it. He wants a friend, but he’s not ready for the relationship thing yet. He wants a woman who can stand by his side, not move ahead of him. And when we approach a door, he wants to be the one to open it and then he wants me to walk through it. How romantic!

Reply August 30, 2011, 6:03 pm

Chrysanthemum

Hi Eric, I just wanted to thank you for encouraging me to send that message. You’re right. I’m no worse off for sending it. In fact, I’m better off. He responded!
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Actually, my message was a little longer (couple sentences) than a simple text and I didn’t ask him how he was doing, like I normally would, because I didn’t want him to feel pressured into responding. I haven’t read his response yet (tied up at the moment) but just having something (good or bad, and a chance to communicate) is better than the nothing (not knowing where we stand as friends) that I’ve been going through all this time.
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I now have a new mode (pun intended) of thinking. :) Now I will “invest” in our friendship only as much as he is investing in it so that I don’t have more (heartache) to lose if things don’t work out. This will certainly be a challenge for me and take some practice, but it could be rather FUN! ;)

Reply September 12, 2011, 12:49 am

DEBBIE

Hi, i was wondering why my boy friend of five years wont tell me how he feels about me? ive asked him why but he tells me he will never tell me his feelings. i dont understand ! he knows i love him and i tell him all the time.i really need to hear this from him .is it wrong to want to hear these words from him?? thanks a lot!!

Reply August 15, 2011, 12:13 pm

Alison

This has helped me so much. I wasn’t too sure if I should stand up for myself yet, but after readin this I realized he’s just calimg it down! It really put me at ease. Thank you so much.

Reply August 11, 2011, 10:09 pm

B

I’ve been seeing this guy for about 3 months. His brother is my best friend and I’m close to his parents. We had a bit of an argument coz he stood me up and I text him telling him how much I care but that I’m not making the effort anymore when I give everything but get nothing back. 2 weeks later he text me saying sorry, and that he cares about me and wants to make a go of things. Couple of weeks later I saw him and everything was perfect but he hadn’t asked me out. Day after I text him asking what he was waiting for and he said he really likes me but isn’t ready for a relationship yet. He’s just come out of a long term relationship and has a son to think of. I panicked and text him babbling on asking am I waiting for something or nothing. He said he didn’t know and not to wait coz it’s not fair on me. Last thing he said to me was to stop going crazy and that ‘we’re cool’. I’ve deffo been too needy and now he isn’t replying to my texts. The last text I sent was apologising for freaking out and that if he doesn’t wanna see me like that anymore I understand, I’d just rather know straight. Should I text him again like last time, saying I understand he has other priorities but that I’m not making the effort when I get nothing back, or should I leave him completely? I can’t bare the thought of him never talking to me again, do you think he will? What’s the best thing to do now that my neediness has gone too far? :(

Reply August 6, 2011, 6:57 am

Sherel

This is the key ladies:Remember, a guy is only as invested in you as the effort he puts into the relationship. If he’s not putting effort, he’s not investing in the relationship. So don’t try to push him to do anything – live your life and give him the space to come to you. If he does, great, he’s further invested in you. If he doesn’t, well… there are more fish in the sea

Reply August 4, 2011, 11:28 am

Patience

Thank you for the response,but how long do I give him on his freakout phase before I can call it quits and move on?

Reply July 31, 2011, 11:26 am

Patience

Do I sms him a birthday message when he is on freakout phase?

Reply July 31, 2011, 9:33 am

Eric Charles

Yes – keep it simple but say something.

Reply July 31, 2011, 11:06 am

kim

when a guy tells you that you are already getting too close to me,,,but doesnt want to break up and wants to continue seeing each other when we can,,and i need some advice on keeping him,,and make it work..since he already knows that i am madly in love with him…but he also makes comments that we are not onthe same page,,meaning that he has other obligations,,3 daughters,,traveling alot with his job,,but that he like me alot…help?? and i have issues myself with constanting calling him..i dont want to smother him..

Reply July 25, 2011, 11:45 am

adele

ok, I get it. The freak out phase.
I understand I should give him his space. But how long should I let the freak out phase go on? Do I have to wait for him to give back signals or should I leave him be for let’s say a couple of weeks and then casually send him signals myself?

Reply July 18, 2011, 12:40 am

Jane Doe

Hi Eric

Re above (in case u didn’t see my reply) Thank you for your message. I followed your advice and have been focussing on moving on and being positive and happy on my own. I kept contact to a minimum over the last few months (only 1 or 2 short messages) and we haven’t spoken in around 3 months…I decided to delete him from my facebook friends about a month ago as it was too hard for me watching him add new girls to his facebook friends (no idea who they are and if its more than friends, but didn’t help me wondering). It was the best thing I could have done, as it really helped me to move on and feel better about the whole situation. Ironically, he contacted me the day after I did it asking why I deleted him and saying he didn’t understand why because he thought we could still talk to each other and be “friends”. I replied and told him it was hard watching him moving on through facebook but I was happy to stay in touch in other ways. He responded saying he understood and respected my decision but told me he didn’t understand what I mean’t by “moving on through facebook”, assuring me that things hadn’t really changed for him, that he was just focussing on work and that other than that life was pretty boring…(which is funny because in his previous messages he kept telling me how he was partying loads and having a great summer)

Anyway, that was about a month ago, and then I got a message from him on Sunday out of the blue asking how I’m doing and lots of questions about my life…I was surprised to hear from him because it was around midnight on a weekend, and I know he is on vacation right now, so it seemed like an odd time for him to contact me. I responded asking him why he wanted to know all these things about me. He told me it was because he missed me, that we had spent so much time talking and sharing and when we broke up, nothing! He told me he missed me and parts of the relationship we had. So I asked him what he missed. He listed pretty much everything and said he was nostalgic of the relationship….I asked what he didn’t miss (since he seemed to be saying he miss everything!)…he said he didn’t want to talk about that and it wasn’t important. I told him I only asked because I was still confused about what really went wrong….he said there was no big reason, it was just an accumulation of things that wreren’t working out for him and entirely him. He said he was impressed that I had managed to not contact him (!!), and that he thought that after 3 months we would be able to talk, but if its too hard for me to talk to him about my life then he would understand, I sensed he was thinking I was some emotional mess (which i’m not!), so I told him i’m happy and life is good, and he shouldn’t feel like he can’t contact me because its too hard for me. he said he was glad and asked if he could call me later in the week…I said yes. He called me last night but I missed the call, he left a voicemail which was sweet and short (he sounded a little nervous), and said he would try to reach me again tonight…..

So I guess I’m just wondering what you think about the above….is it likely he wants to get back with me? I have a gut feeling he might, but he is very arrogant and probably too proud to ever admit he was wrong to end things…..How should I act when he calls again? Is there anything I should/shouldn’t say?

I should also point out that he lives in Paris and I’m in London, so it was an LDR, although it began as an unofficial thing when I lived in Paris (for 4 months) and then became an official relationship for 6 months as an LDR….

ps. Also worth mentioning he is still on vacation with his friends (they were at a friend’s wedding this week)….so it seems odd to me that he is calling me when he is supposed to be on vacation having fun as a single guy….!

Reply July 15, 2011, 8:22 pm

Tired of This

Thanks! Does help…

And you’re right, I do struggle with feelings of loneliness. I always associated being lonely as synonomous with being alone. So often, I’m never alone. I have lots of family and friends. I go out frequently. I keep myself busy at work and even on my commute to work–but at the end of the day I have yet to find something that fulfills me, causing me to inflate the importance of being in a romantic relationship.

My wish is to actually move on from this…this is not the cycle of romance I would want with anyone. I want to start from scratch and start with the relationship I have with myself.

Thanks again.

Reply July 15, 2011, 5:13 pm

Eric Charles

You’re welcome. And that sounds good.
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It’s ironic, but putting yourself and your own fulfillment first can be the best thing you can do for your relationship/future relationship. When you make sure that you are truly happy and fulfilled independent of having a relationship, you will be much better able to handle everything and anything that comes up in a relationship.
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All relationships have their ups and downs. But when you are happy, content and fulfilled just by yourself, you save yourself from ever falling into a “co-dependent” relationship (a relationship fueled by each other’s insecurities), you never have to worry about settling for someone (because you know you can choose a person and that you don’t *need* a person) and you will never act needy (because you’re content, you’ll naturally give that person the space to find their own contentment).
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It sounds like you’re on a good path – good luck and feel free to stop by here anytime if you need to.

Reply July 15, 2011, 6:17 pm

Tired of This

I just have to add that this whole waiting around thing is completely exhausting; I’m thinking “at what point is waiting enough? a few days, a few weeks, a few months? It’s been 3 months since I’ve seen the guy I like. Since then I’ve been dating new people, seeing a therapist, partying with friends, reading new books, focusing on work; and right when I think I’m about to get over him, he contacts me again; and most recently with “I really miss you”. This is getting extremely tiring!!

In any case, I took your advice and played it cool while also maintaining the truth with a simple reply to him that read “I miss you too”. His follow up response was a suggestion we meet up some time this week; however, a week has gone by and I have yet to see him because he has some type of “dermatological problem he will tell me about later”. This is what he claimed, of course, after I informed him a few days ago that I was nearby at my friend’s place. At this point, I truly want to give up; and so, my problem is not the fact that he withdraws anymore, it’s the fact that he tries to come back and I cave because I’ve never felt this type of spark with anyone else. What do you suppose his reasons are for continuing this pattern incessantly? Should I believe anything he says? Or do I give up by ignoring his next attempt to contact me? Please help!!!

I know it may be a bit dramatic, but this pattern of withdrawal by men can be borderline emotionally abusive…

TT.

Reply July 15, 2011, 3:35 pm

Eric Charles

Hey ToT,
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It’s not about you waiting, it’s about you being occupied and fulfilled enough that you aren’t crushed when he’s unavailable for some reason.
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I don’t know his reasons for not seeing you, but you don’t either. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, an idle mind tends to jump to the worst conclusions of why someone doesn’t want to or can’t see us.
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I don’t think he’s being borderline emotional abusive. To be emotionally abusive, he would have to intend to affect you this way and I’m sure he doesn’t.
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I think that you’re feeling lonely, you miss him and you really want to be back together with him. There’s nothing wrong with that in itself, but if it starts feeling like life or death to see him then you’re still putting follow-through on a pedestal.
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If I were to guess, it sounds like you are not entirely happy as things are and you see being with him as a chance at happiness. So every time he flakes on you, your world falls apart because he’s your one shining beacon of hope that you can be happy.
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The reason I make such a big deal out of finding your own TRUE happiness in life itself and not in a relationship is because when a potential relationship feels that their actions make or break your happiness, it comes across as neediness. They feel a tremendous pressure to perform a certain way because they know if they don’t you’ll be upset.
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That leads to them either not caring at all because they know they can’t please you and just ignoring your feelings altogether… or straight up leaving.
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This isn’t bad news – the truth is that you are in control of your emotions and how you handle things. It has nothing to do with him or his actions. It’s how you handle things.
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Hope that helps.

Reply July 15, 2011, 4:45 pm

debra

dear I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn,
i totally agree to wat u jus said,and i am an independent women,i have a gr8 job amazing frnds,but my problm is not that i have less self esteem,niether do i thnk that i cant do without this guy, infact i knw i will be fine without him, but im not.its like in my mind i knw wats best for me and im doin it,i’ve broken off wid him.but im suffering every moment in my heart,and that is out of my control.i want to end this feeling.

Reply July 15, 2011, 5:58 am

I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn

Dear Debra,

You know what you need more than a man? Some SELF-ESTEEM!!! You are clearly a troubled lass who thinks she needs a man in order to be whole, complete and sane. Wrong, it starts with you, within you. No man wants an unstable woman. Where are your female friends? Do you have many? It might be time to take a few deep breaths and register your insecurities and why they are in such abundance. We, as women, don’t deserve men’s crumbs, we are better than that, and better off alone as opposed to accepting a man’s crumbs or living out his ‘head-messing’.

Reply July 15, 2011, 5:51 am

debra

if it is love……i dnt wana suffer it.its a pathetic situation, i cant live a normal life.im suffering each moment. its the worst thng ever happened to me,n the most funniest thng is i realized it only after i left him.and i cant undo wat i’ve done and said.i just wanna get out of this feeling, or get it out of my system.pls help.

Reply July 15, 2011, 5:32 am

debra

i know this is gonna sound strange,but i broke up with him for a simple reason that he wouldnt call me,or take my calls,and i knw he was totally busy,but in my mind i was totlly freakng out for him.and i was so upset that i called him n said,listen if u dnt want me in ua life just tell me once, and he tried explaining his situation but i simply dint wana listen, finally he said ”ok i dnt have feelings for u ,n i dnt wana talk to u”,now we’ve not been talking for a week.and i knw he loves me.but my problem is the more days are passing, the more im coming to a realization that i can not live without him.i have not cald him since, and planning not to call him ever.but thr is this pain in my hrt which nvr stops,and it seems im cryng all the tym,even though without tears.everyday i drag myself to work,i pretend to smile all the time,even though every one tells me im faking it.on my way back i feel he is watching me,and i end up standing in the middle of the road watching each direction,every nook and cranny tryng to locate him.im going crazy, and im constantly pining for him, i wana stop this feeling.what should i do.please help.

Reply July 15, 2011, 5:22 am

Hannah

Here’s my situation and totally up for any advice please. Just met this guy probably 3 weeks ago. We had our first date, went wonderfully. We felt one another on so many different levels. He kept seeming insecure like oh you think I’m cool, well I think you’re a rad chick. Saying he really liked me. Well probably about 2-3 weeks before that we talked on the phone almost every night for ~2 -3 hours each night. He always texted me first, called me. Then we met went out on a date. So by then we had a pretty good idea of what each other represented. The first date was great like I said. I got all the signs he really digged me and wasn’t looking for a hookup. He said since he liked me so much this could really turn into something cool. He’s shared me with his family and friends. Went on a family reunion, we continued to talk and text. Saw each other again a second time. This time he stayed over for 2 nights. Again he said lots of sweet stuff, paying for this and that like when we went out to eat. Saying he would never hurt me, that he really likes me and my values. Saying things that make me think this could turn into a relationship and something more. Since he has asked what are my thoughts on moving if this turns into something awesome down the road. He’s talked about getting a job closer to where I live. Calling me his girl, and over the phone stating to his uncle that he was hanging with his girl friend. He’s so amazed that I’m calm, collected, nice, no drama…..girl. But recently his texting has died down a lot. I asked for him to let me know when he got back home (2 hours away) he never told me if he made it back ok. Before he left he was like you gotta call me tonight, which I did but it was quick things are good get some sleep talk to you later. So I think he may be in this stage of freaking out but it doesn’t make sense because of all the things he says and how he talks about the future.

So when he called me his girlfriend on the phone I was being nerdy and on facebook put that I was in a relationship with him (its still pending his approval) I feel like I should have let him do this first, but all the signs leading on made me do it since I don’t want to be available to anyone else. My question now is how do I reverse that and make him want me more? Do I not text or call him? If he texts or calls me should I wait to answer back or not pick up the phone? Like I texted him this morning just got a text 5 hours later saying he was sorry sleeping…..she I text back or just let it go? I really think he likes me but perhaps he is in this freak out stage, so how and what do I do to make him want me more.

Oh and supposedly in two weeks (since he works two weeks, one week off) we are going to get together as he says. Thank you so much for your help, after reading your article I have done some mistakes, like taking things the wrong way, no call or no text being a bad sign when it isn’t. So thanks for the help!

Reply July 14, 2011, 4:23 pm

Hannah

Any Help or Advice would be greatly appreciate……please help!!!!!

Reply July 15, 2011, 1:21 pm

Kelly

Hannah, if a guy tells you within three weeks your his girlfriend and talks about moving in blah..blah.. that is a huge red flag first off. His freaking out might be he has another lady in the works and he’s trying to see which one will fit his life style. Never move in with a guy you just met period. He may be freaking out who knows but take it slow… I dated a guy for a month in December. He’s in his late 40’s he talked about moving in helping me with mortage paymetns. I freaked out and backed off. He now is living with a women he just met online. I’m thankful I backed off.

Reply October 18, 2011, 1:03 pm

Sarah

I believe I am in this stage, he keeps calling me his girl and how he really likes me and looking forward to the furture. I sent a in a relationship status no confirmation yet, but he hasn’t ignored it. Would it be the wrong message to say im still single or should I just cancel the awaiting confirmation and leave it as in a relationship and wait till he talks to me or texts me first?

Reply July 14, 2011, 2:16 pm

Ashley

Thank You Eric!
This has been so helpfull. I am dating a guy in the freak out stage and while I would love to text him and tell him every crazy thought going through my head right now I know I’d only lose him. I have been able to stay strong this week and play it cool and when I feel weak I reread this advice and breath!! Lol I will not have a crazy woman moment with this man! However, what’s the cut off on giving him space? When will I know that he’s just stringing me along or not? Thank you soo much my dating guru!!

Reply July 13, 2011, 11:12 am

Evieloveny

That is some great advice! I really needed to see your comments today. A wake up call for me as I’m going through the same situation.

Reply July 10, 2011, 10:47 am

I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn

The other common scenario for a man sudden disappearance or apathy is meeting another woman and being distracted by her. He suddenly feels apathy for you because he can only focus on one thing at the same time. If this be the case, it will go one of two ways, either the other woman will totally enrapture him and you won’t hear from him again, or it won’t work out with her and suddenly you will get a ‘hi, how are you?’ type text when he’s back on the market. From my experience, this shows a lack of focus, integrity, not to mention maturity, and I would give this sort of man a wide berth. Either way, you have made enough contact for now. The ball has been in his court for more than long enough, and he’s chosen not to hit it back.

Reply July 10, 2011, 4:53 am

I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn

Mia, your situation is not too uncommon, so don’t feel bad. I think quit texting him already, as he has given you the answer you need for now: that he’s not really interested. It’s almost always around the 2-mth mark that a man decides if it’s worthwhile ‘investing’ more into the otherwise previous casual dating. I know it’s not the answer we want to hear, but silence speaks volumes. Games are exhausting, and sometimes not even worth it. It’s true that when the right man comes into your life, games won’t be necesary….however, saying that, at the beginning especially, it is necessary to let a man come to you, not the other way round. This point is important because it allows you to guage his real interest, rather than acknowledge his provoked participation or apathy. Men have to believe it’s possible you are ‘the one’ for them to be compelled to step up to the plate. This doesn’t come along every day. People are so different, so complex, at different stages of their lives. The universe doesn’t blow winds at the same speeds in all directions. Just remember that. Relax, and have some faith that one day you will get your turn. The anxiety and neediness of a lot of women to hunt, find and snag down a man for themselves is an unbearable turn off for most men. Relax, take a deep breath and realise that you are complete: with or without a man. We win some, we lose some. The survivors are the ones who can accept the realities and pick themselves, rub their bruises, dust themselves off and keep on moving – gracefully and without aminosity.

If being yourself is somebody that doesn’t play games, it is important to be yourself. But when you question a man and don’t get a response, or he tells you he’s not interested, be the survivor: dust yourself off, pick up your coat and have the dignity to walk away from it.

Reply July 10, 2011, 4:43 am

Mia

I recently have been going through a similar situation. I met a wonderful man online 2 months ago – he was consistently pursuing up till about 1 week ago. Prior to he was on a trip overseas and was emailing me every 2-3 days about his adventures. UPon coming home, we made a date where he cooked me dinner and gave me a wonderful gift from his travels. We had a lovely night and I thought nothing more of it and was looking forward to seeing him again. Since that night, he has not contacted me his usual way. Prior to he would contact me the beginning of each week to set up a date. This past week he did not, nor did he make his regular contact via email or text.
So today, I made a phone call and left a voicemail. Perhaps I should have waited, but I am known for my impatience and blunt nature.
I was kind and straight to the point. I asked how he was doing and that I had been looking forward to meeting up with him but he had not responded to my text messages (I had texted earlier in the week to see a movie or go out and when he was free however, he replied that we wanted to go with me but did not tell me when he was free ). I asked if everything was okay and if everything was, that if he was no longer interested that I’d appreciate he tell me.
I know that perhaps that is not a traditional route…but I don’t play games and if something seems wrong I’m very direct. I have not heard from him yet…
Suggestions? Thoughts?

Reply July 10, 2011, 12:44 am

Forevermore

Omg, Mia, I am in the same exact situation as you are right now. Except, I can’t leave a voicemail, since he (the guy I was seeing) didn’t set it up yet. Right now, it’s been like 5-6 days since he and I last contacted each other. I’m also a direct person, so if I was able to leave a message I would probably be doing the same thing you did. I would actually wait it out like most people have said so far. If nothing does happen within a certain time frame, then you should move on with your life. That’s what I will be doing actually. The guy I was seeing told me before that these next two weeks were going to be busy for him. So I plan to check up on him if he doesn’t respond by next week to see what’s up. But in my opinion, taking just 5 minutes to say he is busy and he’ll talk later is much better than just waiting and waiting on what his reaction would be.

Reply April 15, 2012, 3:46 am

Maria

I started dating a guy I met online, we have been on 2 dates, which went well. He has been calling and texting on and off, but no third date as of yet as I have been out of town. He did tell me he is single because he is a “workoholic” but was trying to change. My question to you is about being needy. I decided the other night, I wanted closure and texted him as I hadn’t gotten a return phone call (since Friday) that night as he said he would. It was now Monday, and decided to text him good luck etc.. He responded No, that he would call that evening.. no call. Is it needy to expect a phone call when he says he will return the call that day? I finally texted him a message (as I was kind of worried), he just replied that he was at an out of town meetings and would be back tomorrow. Am I not right to question why no phone call return should he call again?

Thank you.

Reply July 7, 2011, 10:33 pm

CA_nyc

Hi Eric,

I loved this column. The way you broke everything down step by step wasn’t only cohesive, it was also very easy to relate to…maybe a little too well in my case.

One question…do you think this “very sweet then freaked out” pattern can be generalized to men or is this primarily reflective of an American cultural phenomenon?

In other words, I’m an American who met an Italian guy (originally from Northern Italy) about 7 months ago. We both live in the same American city. Everything you described in your column has been my experience: He wooed me the night we met, even followed me around the club lounge until the end of night; vehemently insisted to take me out to dinner the next night; told me he’s never been so attracted to someone in his life after the first date–I of course freaked out a little bit and played it off with a laugh; he would then contact me every few days eager to meet up and let me know he’s interested; he even contacted me while he was in Italy to visit his family over the holidays.

After each date in the beginning, I took his forward nature as perhaps a “European thing”. I thought perhaps using exaggerated language and flattery was something that, in his culture, men used to pursue women for very superficial reasons–just looking to get in her pants sort of deal. However, after he kept contacting me, even when he wasn’t in the States, I started to take him a little bit more seriously. I was always very physically attracted to him, but in the beginning I was ready to write it off as a fling; but his persistence made me think “hmmm…maybe he’s actually into me. I should try to get to know him.”

As soon as I decided this and started being friendlier on our dates–he began to withdraw. Every few days of contact turned into weeks and eventually months. I figured “he must have met someone knew”, but I still couldn’t help but feel so confused. Why did he say all those things? Why did he come on so strong for more than just a few dates?… And after two months he contacts me at midnight with a text saying “hi honey…it’s been a long, long time. I miss you! Kisses.” I was shocked to say the least and couldn’t have been more confused.

After I expressed to him a couple of days later via text that I was glad he was doing well but honestly thought he disappeared on me, he instantly replied saying that it wasn’t the case, he always cares about me. But is this the behavior of someone who cares, the Italian bravado, or a typical guy?

We’ve had some contact back and forth since then, and if we’re texting he replies within seconds; however, he “promised” to meet up soon almost a week ago and I haven’t heard from him since. What is going on?

Just thought I’d tickle your brain some more ;) Thanks for reading through all this in advance. And either way, thanks for writing such great columns!

C.A.

Reply July 6, 2011, 12:34 am

nat hilton

Dear Eric, i have been dating this guy for 8 months now, and i know he loves me. everytime we have sex, he says he misses me so much… but now things had change, he had a new girlfriend, but they have broken up now, i dnt knw d cause of their breakup, still he doesn’t want to call or talk to me. I broke up with him, but he said he is not breaking up with me and he is with nobody and he still loves me if i dont mind. I am confuse, cause i love him so much… i need your advice pleassssssssssseeeee

Reply July 5, 2011, 5:53 am

I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn

Dear Eric,

You’re more than welcome :)

Dear Ally,

From what I have just read of your own experience, it seems that you are suffering from a case of ‘dater disrespect’. I’m not sure about you, but I wouldn’t put up with that kind of disrespect from a friend, stranger – anybody! If a man is keen it’s not just about showing up for the dates, it’s about being courteous and respectful too. Women need to realise that a man is usually on his ‘best’ behaviour whilst wooing a woman, so therefore if he’s dragging his feet, blowing you out on dates and not sticking to his side of the coin, what is he going to be like if you go further and he gets even more complacent? We never want to believe it us personally suffering from the guy that is ‘not that into us’, but it’s a harsh reality and a good medicine, best taken sooner rather than later. Embrace your inner goddess, have some faith in the universe that the world will turn in time for you. In the meantime, take your focus off these dirtbags and stop obsessing. If they wanna get in touch, they will. If they want a date from you they will confirm a lot earlier than one hour before it! My advise is no matter how anxious you are to follow up on the date, if he hasn’t texted you to confirm on the day go ahead and make plans with your girlfriends and then if he asks, be all buttery and say ‘oh, I’m sorry I didn’t realise the date was happening so I went ahead and made plans’. That way he will get the msg very fast about what behaviours you are willing to accept. In regards to texting…. A lot of men do seem to prefer this, for various reasons. However, I would be dubious of the guy who, after a few months of dating, NEVER calls. Of course, this is dependent on all his other behaviours and how often he sees you to talk face to face… Dating is a game where we face up to realities about situations, or we choose to ignore them by putting our heads in the sand like an ostrich afraid to face the truth. The choice is essentially yours. Women’s intuition is powerful, we sense who digs us, we sense when things are ‘off’. Run with your intuition and gut instinct – it’s there for a reason. Men are not all that difficult as we like to imagine, we are the ones that make things difficult: through obsessing, over-analysing, clinging on when the essence of a relationship has left us. Reflect on your fears….why are you so afraid to be alone? The answers will startle you into a refreshed way of thinking. Men will always treat women with a degree of respect if they view her as potentially ‘the one’. Anybody else just gets to ride their ‘anything goes’ train. Do you really wanto be that girl?

Reply July 2, 2011, 7:41 am

Ally

Thanks I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn,
In any case you are probably right. I know i’m pretty stubborn with what i want to hear, but like second opinions when i’m completely baffled by people’s behavior, so thank you for responding! It’s just got me so confused right now. I have no plans in contacting him again until he comes out from hiding, but the thing is i know he’s going to start texting me again and saying he wants to go out again (because he keeps doing it). He seems happy when we’re ACTUALLY out and asks to see me again another day at the end. I just don’t get it is all. And i’m really not that bad with obsessing, don’t worry. This circumstance has just gotten to me since yesterday and i really don’t have any consoling or knowledgeable girlfriends. They’re pretty damn ruthless with matters of men, lol.

Reply July 2, 2011, 11:31 am

Ally

Very interesting take in this article. I got so used to hearing that generic bitter “loose the guy and never talk again,” but i obviously had a little faith for some other answers and here i am!

So, that leads to my own specific questions. I’m in this situation where i suppose he’s ‘freaking out’ and he keeps starting to make plans with me then not follow through. We chat and half plan things for the evening, but he seems to never get back to me after work about actually making the plan. It just gets to an hour of the evening where i have to text him asking ‘are we still on for tonight? (or whatever similar, not exact words)’ because i need to know if i should just go out with the girls instead or something. For some reason i feel like this is an annoying behavior (question?) but i mean…c’mon i need to know the day of if we have plans. I’m not going to sit around, but for me usually a date>the usual crap and first come first serve as well.

The other question is about texting vs. calling. This is sort of something that’s been spanning not only dating but nearly with anyone. Is calling somehow incredibly annoying to certain people? He and many other people just never answer their phone, and only text. I know there’s so many circumstances where you can’t pick up, but it feels like avoidance whenever it happens to me.

And why yes! I am in the over-analyzing mood of the “am i being annoying?” mindset. I think after so many years of listening to complaints from other people’s relationships it’s just one of those things that pops in my head.

Reply July 2, 2011, 6:21 am

I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn

I must admit I entered this site with a fair degree of skepticism based on one preconceived bias alone: that it was written by a man! ;) lol

But man, Eric, your columns are honestly bang on the best advice for women I’ve EVER read! Articulate, easy to read, and just full of common-sense into the psyche of a man. Dating and going out with a man is like one big game, because the things that we as women are required to do seem to go ‘against the grain’ of our natural womanly, biological instincts to verbally communicate, connect and give love freely. It is almost as though these tactics (and those submitted by most dating columnists) to win the affections of a man require us to stem the flow of our emotions and show restraint under the most impossible of circumstances. Not an easy task by any means – but less so for a woman! Dating the man you want takes a lot of energy playing these games, particularly because they all seem to be catered to the whim of the man, NOT the needs of the woman. That’s the bit that seems so unfair. I think the problem today lies with the abundance/scarcity ratio of available eligible men to women. Women seem to be all after the same small pool of eligible bachelors, whilst these men can pretty much have their pick of a whole smorgasboard of delightful ‘dishes’. I honestly think these dating tactics that revolve around men have occurred due to the general scarcity of eligible bachelors for all the single, man-hungry women out there! Well at the end of the day, a sought after man will choose his very best option available to him. Enough said. A mixture of attraction and emotional/sexual chemistry. This is really only something he can define. No amount of dating ‘tactics’ is going to help if he doesn’t feel it for you in all those senses. And let’s face it, we know the signs when somebody is ‘into’ us, we just know. Women love to make excuses though, sadly, when men are not so into them. They try to rationalise, analyse and excuse the behaviour to the point that it drives them insane. It’s not worth the energy girls, take the energy and focus it on you, until somebody that really IS ‘into you’ comes along into your life and does all the right things. He will more than likely still steer the ship, but it will be going in the right direction, he won’t be afraid of careening into deeper waters, and he won’t be giving you that massive headache that all the others seem to. That is why ‘he’s just not that into you’ is seriously the best book out there for women to read.

Kudos to this brilliant column of yours, Eric Charles, and please, keep up the good work :)

A.

Reply June 30, 2011, 6:23 pm

Eric Charles

Dear A,
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Thank you so much for your comment. Sincerely appreciated – honestly comments like yours make me happier than I could describe.
.
Thanks.
.
-E

Reply July 1, 2011, 3:06 am

Evamarie

Not sure to consider my situation that he’s withdrawn or freaked out, etc. I met a younger guy a few months ago through a family friend and we’ve gone out a few times. I know his parents and siblings from a mutual friend. I havent dated in over a year and neither has he. He was iraq for a year and since he’s been back home he has not dated. We really enjoy eachothers company and have great conversations. From the very beginning he made me aware of some of his ways. He’s not a phone person, and he enjoys being alone. He’s very private and has never brought a girlfriend home and doesnt like for his family to know his business/personal life. Fair enough, I can respect that. He’s currently in school so the arrangement was that we would not see eachother during the week and we would hang out on weekends not every weekend but most. We’ve only been talking/dating for about 3 months. A few weeks ago i got last minute tickets to a concert that i really wanted to go to and i texted him asking if he wanted to go. He replied that he wasnt available.. thats okay.. i asked him if it were okay to ask his mother to accompany me as i knew she would also enjoy the concert. He replied and said absolutely he would love if i extended the invite to his mom. He called me back said she would be ready after work for me to pick her up. The following day we spoke and he apologized for not being able to go with me to concert but that his mom had an a great time then our call was disconnected and i havent heard from him yet it’s been 10 days. Of course, here is where i begin making my mistakes!! i texted him a msg basically saying thanks for not calling me back after the phone call was disconnected.. i at least texted him once a day and i never received a response. I even tried calling and he never picked up. I stopped completely 4 days ago but still nothing… The thing is we had plans to go away for 4th of july weekend and i was informed by his brother that he was still planning on going… so im really confused and i dont know what to do at this point. Any advice would be very much appreciated!!! thanks.

Reply June 28, 2011, 12:56 pm

Di

Thannks Eric for the very thoughtful feedback. I see exactly what you mean. The point that particularly hits home is your conclusion in regards to saying whatever you want without needing a particular response. Ironically enough, I would rather say something and part ways if he doesn’t like what he hears (not needy) than meet up meet up with someone that I don’t feel has been very considerate but act like everything is great just to keep the relationship moving forward (needy!), lol. Your perspective has been very hepful.

Reply June 23, 2011, 3:20 pm

Eric Charles

Cool – I always love to hear that I helped. :)
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That sounds good and pretty clear-headed to me. Go for it and good luck.

Reply June 23, 2011, 3:48 pm

kaykay

“When I write up an answer, I get a feeling for where the person is at in that moment and how to pop them out of whatever limiting thought pattern they’re caught up in, then give them a more empowering perspective to come from. And once in that place of empowerment, I do my best to give them a seed for insight.”

Alright, the only other time I’ve ever left feedback online for was this incredible new search tool I found for apartment hunting. But Eric’s conceptual approach, that gem quoted above, is magic. I love it and totally appreciate the hopefully minor tradeoff he gets with having some people occasionally missing the finer points and end objective, i.e. to effect change in the person needing help. I’ve never been a fan of love advice columns or what not. My thought had generally been that the random facts on the back of Snapple caps were more interesting and useful. .. so that said… TOTAL KUDOS for the great job Eric is doing with his column.

From a writer’s perspective, I thought his answers were incredibly well structured, thought out, and carefully articulated. I also think it’s quite cool how he consistently made his answers both specific and general, to reach more a broader scope of scenarios and people.

importantly, as someone who has spent her share of time “mindfucking” (only sometimes fun), I think the insights and perspectives here are wonderfully effective. Eric, hope you continue to do what ‘re doing in the way you’re doing it!!

Reply June 24, 2011, 10:56 am

Eric Charles

Thank you so much Kaykay. I really appreciate you saying that and I’m especially flattered that you liked my stuff even though you don’t typically like love columns.

Reply June 24, 2011, 1:33 pm

kaykay

No thanks necessary. Like more than several other posters, I also felt this growing sense of “empowerment,” even as I was mouthing “Oh no, no….yea, I did that…that too…wow.” I am a pretty self aware person, and have gotten myself to some of the points of wisdom your advise on my own before, but you really added this texture to it that made it all stick. Though, I think the true “magic” in your advising strategy was effecting this – instead of cringing at those moments of familiarity or getting in defense mode by thinking of the differences between my various men situations with those you were advising, I felt almost, I dunno, “cheery”? I was able to recognize, that despite the varying differences among my “love fun” romances, I had reacted in a very “not different” and unhealthy way at the end of each. Haha, I totally admit to being an emotional detective. I am the worst. While I can’t say I won’t continue to query what fun reasons there may for why X or Y is being especially boneheaded, I will say that your relating words of advise definitely put a good check on my “mental indulging” (or obsessing, whatever). Honestly, when I started to read, I had wanted to write to you of my particular recent situation. As much as I was already “over it”…. but thats how good you advice got me. woot. Im even feeling serene at having to study on an outnight….so, many thanks! keep up the good work.

June 24, 2011, 11:42 pm

Di

Hi Eric,

I have really been enjoying reading your posts. What you say makes a lot of sense but I’m seeing a lot of contradiction in the statements that I would like your help in clarifying. On the one hand, we are supposed to stay busy if a guy doesn’t call and on the other hand, we are supposed to share feelings and set standard to strengthen our bond. In my situation, I have been seeing someone for about a month, no relationship conversations have taken place just enjoying whatever happens but we are in regular contact. He left town for two weeks for work and holidays and have not heard from him while he has been gone. I understand giving a man his space, getting my own life (I do, and I’m not mad) but I think I would be a doormat if he came back and I just picked up where we left off without setting any boundaries. In my estimation, I think a balance is needed in all of this advice i.e. he contacts when he returns to get together (or any guy contacts a girl after disappearing) and the girl says:

– “Great to hear from you” = Positive comment
– “That being said, I would appreciate the man I am dating be consistent and so would have been nice to hear from you while you were away also” = Setting standards, sharing feelings, not being a doormat
-” But yes, would love to see you, how about Saturday?” = Water under the bridge but stay on your toes because I have standards

What are your thoughts on this approach?

Reply June 23, 2011, 12:17 pm

Eric Charles

Well the main idea is that if you are needy, you will erode your relationship.
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Needy: “Needing” a certain response. Having an “agenda”. Getting upset unless he responds the “right” way.
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Needy behavior usually feeling like a man needs to fulfill some kind of “image issue” for you or you have some sort of fear about the relationship, so you covertly try to manipulate or coerce him so that your fear is silenced or the self-image boost you get from the relationship is maintained.
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Sooner or later, the image/fear + coercion/manipulation cycle collapses and the relationship either gets “real” or it collapses into intense resentment and then ends.
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The image-based fear of “being a doormat” is exactly the type of idea that will spiral you into needy behavior and slowly poison your relationship with manipulation and resentment.
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Or…………..
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You could be happy, live a full life that you enjoy (independent of the relationship) and do/say whatever you want in the relationship but don’t NEED him to respond a certain way.
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It’s not about what you say or do really, it’s the feelings and intent underneath it all.

Reply June 23, 2011, 1:44 pm

ashley

I have been with mny boy friend for 2 years, we don’t live together, and I used to go down there all the time he lives about an hour away. I don’t go as much as I used to but I have noticed changes. He never wants to talk to me anymore, I don’t hear from him sometimes for days, and he will say he will call me back and never does. He used to call me back al lthe time, and before i went to bed to say good night he used to always tell me he loved me, and missed me and wanted me. Once in awhile he still says i love you. I tell him he is hurting me and he asks what he needs to do to fix it, but he never does it. We talked the other day and he told me he is only concerned about his dream (music) right now, and if I want to be with him I will do what he asks, but he is not willing to do what it takes to make me happy. I will admitt I can be needy, and i have mood swings, and I over react, but it’s because he does not ever do what he says. I ask him if he doesn’t want to be with just to tell me instead of dragging it on and causing more pain. he says he wants to be with me but needs a break. What does this mean. I am really hurting right now and need some advice. Does he not want me and if not why won’t he just tell me. My kids are very attached to him, and i told him in the beginning if he does not want a serious relationship i dont want to get involved because i have kids. I don’t understand what is going on. Than when I go to his house he tells me how much he loves me and wants to be with me but as soon as i leave with in a week he is back to his ways. What does this mean and what should I do. And I don;t think he is cheating because I know all his friends, and family, and his brother would tell me, but do you think he is cheating?

Reply June 22, 2011, 12:44 am

i need some help with my boy friend

i think my boy friend is seeing someone, I found a woman’s name and number on
his cell, should I ask him or call her?

Reply June 21, 2011, 9:26 pm

Cat

Thank you Eric, actually just reading that made me feel a little better and let things go mentally. I put the cell phone in a different room so I wont look at it to see if he has txt or called. I am focused on getting things done and having fun with my friends. He never specifially asked me for space but his actions sure have telegraphed it so I am doing my best to honor it! Thank you for your ear. One more question, do you ignore holidays when you are in the midst of this kind of thing? No “Happy Father’s Day” txt or whatever hoilday is happening? Kind of feels mean but maybe it is the right thing?

Reply June 18, 2011, 9:24 pm

Eric Charles

It would only be a problem if his response (or lack thereof) caused you some sort of emotional reaction.

Reply June 18, 2011, 10:05 pm

Sally Sue's Friend

Hi Eric,

Thanks for all you feedback. I’m not too comfortable sharing my story on the message board but I emailed you at askaguy@anewmode.com. Hope you can help me.

Thanks.

Reply June 18, 2011, 2:20 pm

Cat

Eric I appreciate that you say men aren’t playing games or being manipulative on purpose because when I speak to a lot of my female friends that’s just what they say. I have never got that vibe from my guy but he did warn me from the start that he has a tendency to pull away when things get close. ( I kick myself for not asking him if he comes back or how)

I know he has a lot on his plate (financial issues) plus he is away for a month taking a very intense tecnical training class for the military where every week day he puts in long hours.

Two days before he left he started not taking phone calls (2) or returning txt’s. I txt and asked what was wrong and he wrote back. “Just busy do we have to talk everyday?” Later he cancelled our date. I didn’t hear from him for 5 days and sent a txt asking how things were going and he replied thanking me for my patience and saying class life was intense and when he wasnt studying or in class he was eatting or sleeping. When I asked if he had time for a quick call he said, “no, dear.” I said okay and good luck with class. I txt him once over the weekend last week wishing him a restful weekend and no response. He has 3 more weeks there. I havent heard from him/nor contacted him for over a week. I know he has weekends free from class.
My question is…is it over? My life is super busy but my mind is really distracted. I have gone over everything that happened before he left and no clue what happened? There was no fight? Limbo is so hard. When I study my mind always wanders and welcomes distractions….it is hard to believe he is that busy that there is no time for a quick txt or call ever? We really use to talk every couple of days, spent every weekend together and on the days we didnt talk a few txt back and forth…..Please help me to know what goes on in a man’s mind when he takes some space

Reply June 18, 2011, 1:31 pm

Eric Charles

My quick reply… When a man is going through pain, his desire is to avoid dealing with the pain. If you are worried, concerned, needing of attention, feeling lonely or anything other than a totally and completely content state… then talking to you won’t be a relief from stress… it will be an addition to it.
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If you spend time focusing on how to become more content, more happy, more fulfilled and have more fun in general regardless of what he’s doing, you’ll find (almost magically) that he will come back.
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If you allow yourself to get more and more concerned, more distracted, more afraid, more NEEDY for him to act differently than he is now… then you will unconsciously push him further and further away.
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That’s what giving someone space is… taking your focus off that person and making yourself content and happy. Very hard to do, but it makes the difference between your relationship ending and your relationship flourishing.

Reply June 18, 2011, 2:19 pm

Sally Sue

So it’s all about the guy huh? How can we make him as comfortable as possible so he doesn’t get freaked out? Gag. Man up. Own your feelings and be honest with who you are dating. If a guy goes mia on me, believe me, there is no freak out stage, I just wipe my hands of it. If he does come back and try to keep dating me, he is going to have a hard time convincing me he is worth my time because anyone who just bails and then thinks they can hide behind the excuses you have described have quite a bit of growing up to do, in my opinion.

Reply June 18, 2011, 1:25 am

Eric Charles

That’s fine. I mean, do what you want… You’re basically saying that if the guy doesn’t do what you want him to do, you move on. If that works for you, then you’re good.
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Still, when I read certain phrases in a comment like “Gag” or “Man up” or that the other person has “quite a bit of growing up to do”, it comes off that you might be a little angry or bitter about guys in general and/or have a tendency to blame the guy as being the “problem”.
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I mean, if you read this article in the first place it’s because you were wondering why some guy didn’t text you back. Let’s be honest here.
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You can blame guys all you want and say what guys should do and how quickly and ruthlessly you’ll drop him… but… is that attitude bringing you happiness in your relationships?
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I don’t know. Maybe it is… but if it isn’t you might want to consider an approach that doesn’t involve blaming or “should’ing” the guy.
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You might not like how the guy behaves (I work with plenty of guys who don’t like how the girl behaves), but it is what it is and you can only control yourself and your reaction. Being angry isn’t going to lead you to a happy or successful place.
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My 2 cents.

Reply June 18, 2011, 2:00 am

Sally Sue

I’d actually never heard of your site but I was checking it out for a friend because she is in the “freak out stage” right now and isn’t sure what to do. Your site has offered her some helpful advice, and I just couldn’t help commenting. It’s not so much that I feel the guy needs to do exactly what I want. For instance, if he needs space to re-evaluate and think about what he wants, that’s fine. I need that sometimes coming into a relationship as well. All I’m saying is, then why can’t he say that? Because then I know how to respond appropriately. If a guy is playing games and disappearing and being aloof, I have no idea what is going on in his head and perhaps past experience have told me to assume the worst and move on. Maybe the solution isn’t to figure out how the game is played, because let’s face it every one has their own bag of tricks and often you can’t apply these rules across the board to every person you date….but maybe if we just be honest with one another every step of the way. I think it saves everyone a lot of grief…
Your site has merit and it’s obviously helping a lot of people so I don’t meet to hate all over it, this is just my take on it all…

Reply June 18, 2011, 10:38 am

Eric Charles

Oh cool… I’m flattered that your friend referenced something from A New Mode. :)
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I understand what you’re saying… I can tell you that some guys are not very good at expressing what it is they’re feeling or even understanding it. For most guys, if they feel something unpleasant, they avoid the feeling altogether.
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At the heart of it, I think you are assuming that guys are “playing games” with you or with a woman when they’re not responding.
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I’ve met all sorts of people in the world. Very, very few are manipulative or creepy enough to intentionally “play games” with other people.
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And yet, I’ve met TONS of people who think that other people are “playing games” with them.
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Everyone has a fear of being taken advantage of. Everyone fears being taken as a fool.
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But the truth is, most people (men and women) have good intentions but bad habits. It has nothing to do with the other person… it has to do with their relationship with themselves.
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Assuming the other person has malicious intentions will put you on guard to them, which will subconsciously put them on guard to you. It’s a vicious self-fulfilling prophecy.
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I don’t think you were hating on my site or post or anything. If I thought you were straight-up hating, I wouldn’t have written a real response to you.
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The reason why I responded is because what you wrote is a viewpoint that many women have and ultimately it’s destructive to relationships. Believe me, there are guys out there who say the same thing about women, but from the other side – and I give them the same recommendation as I’m giving you here.
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Better to give the other person the benefit of the doubt and focus on your own happiness and fulfillment. Relationships get easier when you do that.

Reply June 18, 2011, 1:00 pm

Chrysanthemum

Just a thought about “some guys are not very good at expressing what it is they’re feeling or even understanding it”…
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What I am learning is that guys are “sensory” human beings. They understand much of the world around them through their senses (sight, sound, touch, smell and taste). If they don’t feel the right way about something, their senses are telling them “no” or “get out”. How else would they be able to protect us women from danger while lost somewhere in the Grand Canyon? Ha-ha!
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Whereas gals are more “mental” about things that happen in life, thinking it all through and that’s why words from guys are so important to us. Those words go into our minds where we start processing them, just like a man would process what his senses are telling him.
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I guess it’s just the way men and women are made. And somehow we need to be complementary harmonies to each other in order to have mutual, healthy relationships.

September 1, 2011, 7:17 pm

Anna

Eric,

What you said about most people not being “manipulative or creepy enough to play games with other people” is truly enlightening. I am so happy to hear you say that – what a huge load off my mind. It might sound silly that I am completely and unquestioningly accepting a stranger’s opinion online, but I really do believe that you are very intelligent and know what you are talking about. Thank you so much for sharing that – it’s so heartbreaking that everyone is walking around thinking people are “playing games” with them. I can wait to tell people what you said (although I’m sure may of them wont listen to me because they don’t know who you are lol).

October 7, 2011, 11:55 pm

Eric Charles

@Anna – Thanks for that comment. That means a lot to me.

October 8, 2011, 4:58 pm

Marie

This guy that I’ve gotten deeply involved with is leaving to travel for a year (cross country on a motorcycle) this coming week. We’ve had an incredible time the past few months and my feelings have gotten really strong. He says that he really cares about me a lot and will always be there for me – he said this as he made me turn around to face him, looked me directly in the eye w/the most intense eye contact I’ve ever experienced and told me this. The past couple of weeks, he’s been acting kind of distant though.

First off – we’re kind of long distance right now (3 hours away) but we visit each other often. We’re NOT in a relationship and I know going into this he couldn’t commit or have anything serious. When we’re together, everything’s great. When we’re not together, (in the beginning), things were still great – he’d text me a lot (2 to 3 times a day), enthusiastic texts w/smileys and I’d never wonder where I stood with him. But now when we’re not together, he seems very distant and not as enthusiastic with his texts. He’ll still text me (not as much) and will still reply to my texts.

My question is – since he’s being so distant recently, why is it? Is his head just in a different place so much with this upcoming trip that he doesn’t even realize it? Could he be distancing himself from me since he is leaving? Or distancing himself to spare my feelings? Or do guys try to spare their own feelings by distancing themselves as well?

Reply June 14, 2011, 12:36 am

Michelle

Hi Eric

Ive been having this fling with this guy I know and in the last month we’ve met up about 4 times in total (before then we met a few times with friends) but things didnt start heating up till about the beginning of May. Anyway im not looking for a relationship at this stage, just looking for a bit of fun etc – but ive noticed he’s withdrawing away from me and I dont want that. If im going to be honest i think im starting to like him more now when initially all i wanted was some harmless fun and nothing more, nothing less.
Now i dont really hear from him so much anymore which is quite disappointing. So anyway i was silly but i decided to msg him asking how his wkend was, and when i’ll be seeing him again and i had some stuff to give to him. This was on fbook. And he did respond but just saying how his wkend was and how was mine but nothing about meeting up. To be honest I shouldnt have mentioned about meeting up, i just thought he would be interested in what stuff i had for him and be like ‘yeah im around on the wkend’ but its always the way you never get the responses that your looking for. Is there anyway or trying to ask the same question again about meeting up without sound too desperate/keen? If not should i respond back to it or just not bother responding at all?
I really want to see him again, i had so much fun with him before but i dont think he’s interested in me anymore now, even if it is for casual fun!!!
What do you (or anyone else) thinks?

Reply June 13, 2011, 10:18 am

suki

we have been dating for about 3 months now, it was all so good ,we promised to be together for life,we plannned on our lifestyle ,how to make money ,our home and were sharing alot .
we opened up hetold me he loved me ,we made vows to be friends for life.he even asked if i will bear him children.then after sometime he just starts withdrawing,he claims he loves me,but he is busy trying to make ends meet.he rarely calls,he doesnt do the things he used to do ,we dont see eachother!!!!so what should i conclude? i desparately need help

Reply June 10, 2011, 10:28 am

Sonya

I love this website, its my first time reading a couple of these articles and it totally makes sence. :)

Reply June 9, 2011, 1:56 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks so much. I appreciate that – you’re always welcome.

Reply June 9, 2011, 4:01 pm

Cat

Hey Eric-I dated my guy casually last year for about 3 months and discovered he was a month out of an enagagement. I asked him if he thought he was ready to date. Long story short he ended it after disappearing for two weeks and then saying that he wasnt developing the feelings he thought he should be. I was fine with that. We had no contact for the year and then ran into each other at Starbucks. He asked for another chance and then pushed for us to be boyfriend girlfriend since “we had already tried the dating thing.”
When he asked, and I agreed, we talked about what that meant (spending weekends together, how we should approach each other about making plans with our friends etc.) He told me he would try to stay emotionally availible and not pull away after two weeks. I asked him about that and he said he was kidding but sometimes when things get close, families mingling, hanging out with kids, etc he tends to pull away.
2 months went by and everything was great. No “I love yous” but lots of time building the relationship getting to know each other. For his job he had to go out of state for a month to train. The weekend before he decided to make a garden for me in my backyard, spent time with my daughter, came up with a plan to rearrange my living room and disclosed all of his financial info (including somethings he was struggling with).
Leading up to his going out of town he became more distant. on the day he was leaving I txt him and asked if everything was okay and got a txt back saying, “yeah, just busy. Do we have to talk everyday?” I didnt respond.6 hours later I txt to confirm our date, asking if we were still on for that evening. He wrote back, ‘I don’t think so it’s getting late.” I said ‘ok, have a great trip glad you got to spend time with your kids as an early father’s day present.:)”
It has been 4 days now and I have heard nothing…..do I send him an email at the end of the week? Am I still his girlfriend?

Reply June 8, 2011, 11:27 pm

April

I have to say from experience (both sides of this fence) that I have seen what Eric is talking about in this post first hand. When a guy starts pulling away, I see it as a sign that things are actually going well. He’s starting to ‘feel’ something and has to back away so that he can figure out if he is going to move forward, or get out. It has always been a sign of progress in my relationships, where the guy can no longer maintain the status quo and be satisfied. If he comes back, the “feelings” conversations will begin, and he will be the one to initiate them.

During the “pull back” stage, I used to freak out and drive the guy away. Now, I use the time to really focus on myself and do what it is that makes me feel great. And I’ve found that staying cool, happy and having a full life makes me more intriguing as a woman. When I acted needy, desperate, insecure, spending my time over analyzing and waiting around for a guy, it made for a crappy life. And think about it, how many times have you wanted to spend your free time with someone who you are just starting out with who is living a crappy life?

The great thing is, when I focus on myself and making myself happy, even if the guy decides he doesn’t want to move forward with me, I’ve been too happy and fulfilled to even care. In which case I just let them go.

Thanks Eric, you’re so right on!

Reply June 8, 2011, 8:35 pm

Eric Charles

That’s so cool. Thank you for the comment, I’m glad to hear that!

Reply June 9, 2011, 12:21 am

Eric Charles

Well… pattern changes are a warning sign, but sometimes just thinking about a relationship and different specific things can scare you into thinking there’s a problem when there’s not.
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The fact you have a great sex life is a good sign. The saying he wouldn’t mind if you found a new boyfriend is a little odd (could just be him teasing, could be him trying to eliminate personal guilt).
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The reduction in communication could be a warning side or it could be two sided. I’ve been with a girl where she stops texting me cold… then 3 days later she says, “You didn’t text me for 3 days!” Well… neither did she… why am I getting blamed here?
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My point is that if you play “cheating detective” in your head, you will drive yourself NUTS… and you’ll waste a lot of energy. Energy you could be putting into your relationship to make it better.
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I took some of my comments here to use in tomorrow’s article about cheating – might be helpful for you to check it out when it runs tomorrow. Good luck!

Reply June 6, 2011, 9:42 pm

Amanda

Ok let’s say we are happy together we don’t argue or fight sure we have our little disagreements, we have a great sex life. But when he is away he always ask if I found a new boyfriend yet and he wouldnt mind and things like that. He knows that it really upsets me when he says things like that and knows i’m not going anywhere or doing anything to hurt our relationship. Is it his own thoughts that he is telling me or a secret way of telling me he is doing those things or is thinking of doing them? I’m so confused right now I really don’t know what to think. The last few days he hasn’t really texted me and has called me for a 5 minute phone once. Its just not like him and he is just saying he is tired. I believe him and everything but in a way I know he is that night owl and didn’t go to bed for the last three nights at 8pm.

Reply June 6, 2011, 7:55 am

Eric Charles

@Amanda – I could understand why you’re worried. The thing is… you really don’t know. You can’t know. Even if you could spy on him, you would know in your heart that you crossed that line… and you can never cross back.
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If your instinct is making you suspicious or worried, then I would put your focus on what you can control: how you react to that feeling.
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Let’s say that he was flirting with a girl out there. Not “cheating”, but flirting… she’s interested in him and he likes the ego-boost of a girl being into him.
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If that was what was happening, you could react to it in many different ways. I will list a few:
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You could get paranoid and go down a path that wrecks your relationship’s trust.
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You could get angry and start fighting and accusing one another… and damage your relationship in the process.
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You could get worried sick over your suspicions and, because you’re so worried, end up being miserable company to be around… which would degrade your relationship.
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— OR —
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You could look at this as a wake-up call and respond to him and your relationship positively.
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Maybe he misses having a girl look at him with desire in her eyes. Maybe he misses the feeling of being recognized or appreciated for what he brings to the world. Maybe he has a fantasy that he thinks you’d be unwilling to explore with him.
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Whatever it is… you can start thinking about what might be attracting him outside the relationship and start bringing that energy into your relationship. That’s a much better use of your attention than playing nightmare-scenarios in your help or fearing what he and this girl might be up to.
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It would be near-impossible for a guy to cheat if he were totally and completely fulfilled by his relationship.
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His fulfillment in your relationship is his responsibility too, but remember your side of the responsibility. If you don’t want him to cheat, don’t waste your energy on blaming him, accusing him, distrusting him, suspecting him or punishing him. If you put your energy here, even in the privacy of your own thoughts, he’ll pick up on it and it will damage your relationship.
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If you don’t want him to cheat, then your best bet is to work on making your relationship excellent. In fact, if you look at this from a positive perspective, this scare might even end up improving your relationship.
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Hope that helps.

Reply June 5, 2011, 3:08 pm

Amanda

Hi Eric, My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years he just recently got a new job. He was sent to do a job out of town and has been gone for a few weeks now. I just recently found out he has been texting a girl from there and he got defensive when I questioned him. I just want to know if I’m over reacting when I think he is cheating on me. He said she’s just a friend and when I asked him to stop talking to he he said he would and didn’t and just lies to me about it. He has recently not texted be before he goes to sleep and tells me he was so tired and just crashed when he got back to the place where they are staying. What should I think or do? He says he loves me and would never cheat but I am just confused and no one to talk too. Please help me.thank you

Reply June 5, 2011, 5:18 am

Denisse

Reading it from that perspective, it makes complete sense. I have proven the “give him room to breathe, play it cool and live your life” to be the best advice. Really gals, don’t waste emotional energy thinking what might be going wrong with the guy, just keep yourself occupied with other things/people/activities in your life and you’ll see him cone back to you at his own time.

Reply June 2, 2011, 7:19 pm

Eric Charles

@Jane – That’s rough, I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. Sure there’s hope – some guys freak out because they’re afraid that they’ll lose freedom or they’re afraid of what would happen if they commit. Don’t take it personally – it doesn’t mean they don’t love you… sometimes guys just have hangups they need to work through. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is try your best to keep in a positive place, keep your life full of enjoyment and do your best to give him space. Much easier said than done (believe me, I understand how hard it can be), but try your best. Good luck.

Reply May 13, 2011, 4:33 pm

Jane Doe

Hi Eric

Thank you for your message. I followed your advice and have been focussing on moving on and being positive and happy on my own. I kept contact to a minimum over the last few months (only 1 or 2 short messages) and we haven’t spoken in around 3 months…I decided to delete him from my facebook friends about a month ago as it was too hard for me watching him add new girls to his facebook friends (no idea who they are and if its more than friends, but didn’t help me wondering). It was the best thing I could have done, as it really helped me to move on and feel better about the whole situation. Ironically, he contacted me the day after I did it asking why I deleted him and saying he didn’t understand why because he thought we could still talk to each other and be “friends”. I replied and told him it was hard watching him moving on through facebook but I was happy to stay in touch in other ways. He responded saying he understood and respected my decision but told me he didn’t understand what I mean’t by “moving on through facebook”, assuring me that things hadn’t really changed for him, that he was just focussing on work and that other than that life was pretty boring…(which is funny because in his previous messages he kept telling me how he was partying loads and having a great summer)

Anyway, that was about a month ago, and then I got a message from him on Sunday out of the blue asking how I’m doing and lots of questions about my life…I was surprised to hear from him because it was around midnight on a weekend, and I know he is on vacation right now, so it seemed like an odd time for him to contact me. I responded asking him why he wanted to know all these things about me. He told me it was because he missed me, that we had spent so much time talking and sharing and when we broke up, nothing! He told me he missed me and parts of the relationship we had. So I asked him what he missed. He listed pretty much everything and said he was nostalgic of the relationship….I asked what he didn’t miss (since he seemed to be saying he miss everything!)…he said he didn’t want to talk about that and it wasn’t important. I told him I only asked because I was still confused about what really went wrong….he said there was no big reason, it was just an accumulation of things that wreren’t working out for him and entirely him. He said he was impressed that I had managed to not contact him (!!), and that he thought that after 3 months we would be able to talk, but if its too hard for me to talk to him about my life then he would understand, I sensed he was thinking I was some emotional mess (which i’m not!), so I told him i’m happy and life is good, and he shouldn’t feel like he can’t contact me because its too hard for me. he said he was glad and asked if he could call me later in the week…I said yes. He called me last night but I missed the call, he left a voicemail which was sweet and short (he sounded a little nervous), and said he would try to reach me again tonight…..

So I guess I’m just wondering what you think about the above….is it likely he wants to get back with me? I have a gut feeling he might, but he is very arrogant and probably too proud to ever admit he was wrong to end things…..How should I act when he calls again? Is there anything I should/shouldn’t say?

I should also point out that he lives in Paris and I’m in London, so it was an LDR, although it began as an unofficial thing when I lived in Paris (for 4 months) and then became an official relationship for 6 months as an LDR….

JD

Reply July 15, 2011, 6:52 am

Jane Doe

ps. Also worth mentioning he is still on vacation with his friends (they were at a friend’s wedding this week)….so it seems odd to me that he is calling me when he is supposed to be on vacation having fun as a single guy….!

Reply July 15, 2011, 7:00 am

Jane Doe

So, what if you’re in a relationship with a guy, and then after about 6 months you tell him you love him (because he gave you all the signs he felt the same way) and his response is to completely freak out, withdraw, and a week or so later say “its all too much too fast” and he breaks up with you. Is there any hope of him coming back??

Reply May 13, 2011, 1:18 pm

Cocorella

So all we can do is wait and ignore ? Or what ? Lame…

Reply May 10, 2011, 6:12 am

Virginia Erickson

Thankyou, i think i over did it with the current boyfriend, but ill try this thing out with the next one. :)

Reply May 9, 2011, 1:13 am

Leana

I don’t understand what is going on. This guy and i have been texting back and forth and talking on the phone. But now i feel like i have been lied to. He says i don’t bother him and he loves it when i text him but now he won’t message back. We have both expressed that we like eachother more than we expected. He admitted he is hooked on me and missed me. And he has asked me if i miss him. I feel like things are getting complicated. I REALLY like him. What do i do?

Reply April 27, 2011, 11:03 pm

melissa

I love this article! Very good advice, thanks for helping me understand guy perspective! Love these articles..
But really guys, just tell us what you’re thinking, don’t make us guess, that can cause things to get ruined for no reason! I for one hate playing games. You like me or you don’t.. just tell me the truth. Doesn’t mean I’m going to smother you..and if I do, then by all means call it quits! And I agree with Bethany… how long does this stage have to last..definitely takes a toll on our self-esteem.. :( And they say girls are confusing..geez..

Reply April 5, 2011, 6:18 pm

Christy

Thanks for the clear and concise explanation of a male’s behaviour. I must say I’m a busy girl; always have been and always will be. I’ve always kept a pact that while I’m in my uni studies, I’d never date a guy, give him the time of day, or care about the ‘dating scene’. (im done with uni for now..graduated with an MA so the pact is over for now). Until recently, I’ve turned down guys who have asked me out b/c I know it will take a mature, mentally strong male to understand me, and be ok with my always ‘being busy’. Sure I could cancel my social events every so often for him (and if I’m into the guy, I know I would). I use my ‘busy-ness’ to test guys, so I know if they will be whining and whimpering to see me all the time, or if they can do their own thing.

Recently, I started my first relationship with a guy. And I must say it started out with all the txting and ‘missing u’ bits. I wasnt use to this and tried to keep a focus on the true signs…so Id txt him things like ‘wow u’ve txted me all this time, surely you’ve got someone else to txt, or something else to do.’ Then I decided, I’d better just relax and take his attention as I get it cause surely it wouldn’t last long. It hasn’t. Now the hard part: I went from being busy everyday to being around him 3-4days a week. Now he has withdrawn, and I’m having the deal with the fact I got use to him always around, and me not being busy that I got to get back into my routine, because yes, he’s completely stopped txting, stopped askin what ive been up to, stopped coming over, stopped askin for my work rota so to make time to see me in the week. Essentially, I’m feeling my own medicine.

So thank you for your article to put my perception/perspective back in order. I’m pretty sure he liked me the most in the beginning b/c I was always busy, and he himself txted that to me once “wow, you’re busy. do you ever stop or slow down?” Now my struggle is not txting or typing to him on FB to just say hi, see how he’s been; and to be ok that he doesnt ask in return ‘what have u been up to?” And I try to be funny about not seeing him and just say, “yea, I know you’re Mr. popular and busy. =)” I just want him to know I’m busy too.

Reply March 11, 2011, 7:48 am

Bethany

Eric, I am intruiged and at the same time confused. I understand what you’re saying- basically that women get freaked out and freak out the men that they are dating when they think they’re boyfriend/girlfriend when they are really only in the dating stage. So keep busy, live life and….and what? This is where I have the disconnect. How long does this continue before we/I really lose all self esteem we have by playing it cool with someone? I mean it this way…I am a busy girl. I have alot of things going on in my life, and I am really quite active and occupied, but I want to make time for him. It makes me feel good to see him- and have him as part of my life. I want him to want me as part of his life. OR at least start thinking in terms of US instead of him….So when DOES this actually occur when things move from the don’t freak out stage? Isn’t it just very possible that this guy just isn’t into me and I am wasting my time? When DO I get to feel and express it?

I really would appreciate your response beacause you’re not addressing the whole story and I think people are looking for that answer.

Reply March 5, 2011, 7:05 pm

Nels

So this guy came into my work about 2 weeks ago and he was super charming and cute and when he was leaving he gave me his number. We texted a lot for a few days and then we went out on a casual date: slurpees, movie, walking around. It looked like everything was going great and we made had plans to see each other again. But i saw him the night before our date and everything went okay, we were both really tired and he seemed to be in a bad mood, which he apologized for after dropping me off. The day of our date, he sent me 2 texts, was super rude and completely blew me off only to text me at midnight saying hello. Today he seemed fine again but after work he’s been acting the same as yesterday. I’m not sure if i could’ve done something to make him mad or if he just plays this game with girls? He seemed super interested and i have no idea how that changed in a day? What can i do?

Reply March 3, 2011, 9:41 pm

VKS

This was a great read and EXACTLY what is going on with the guy I am dating right now.
My only concern is where is the line between “freaking out” and being walked on?

He was suppose to meet up with me and my friends the other night and kept in touch throughout the night, but then just didn’t show and also forgot plans a previous night.

I don’t like when people do this in general…nevermind a potential “mate”. So am I suppose to let this go or let him know it bothers me? Cause it does bother me (and that is me being me) and so I let him know that that isn’t cool. Mind you, I didn’t go crazy on him, just let him know that I HATE when people “disappear” like that.

Thoughts?

Reply February 9, 2011, 6:55 pm

Brook

I understand I’m supposed to act like I’m busy and such. I stink at dating and the same thing keeps happaning the 3-4 great dates and then…nothing but, I have recently picked up a book or two and am learning some of the mistakes I made. Specifically I recently had an odd turn of events happen that I have yet to experience and was wondering if you could help me clarify. I went on 4 great dates over a month and a half period because we are both busy people. Around the holidays we were texting everyother day all week and then e invited me to NYE with him the day before. I was working so I had to say no and asked him if he would be busy the folowing Sunday and he said he had alot of work to get done ( a lawyer) so I said cool no problem ttyl. An entire 8-9 days go by and nothing so I decided, a bad judgement call, to text him a kind of inside joke of did I get put on the no call list or did he buy a cat. He once again told me he was very busy and after work didn’t feel like doing anything but vegging. I’d like a little help with the next move its been 5 days and I’m leary on texting him again. I was told if its a silly, crazy, or a random spontaneous text it could be attractive. Any ideas or input would be appreciated.

Reply January 20, 2011, 5:08 pm

Carley

What does it mean if a guy that tells you he likes you and wants a relationship with you, always bails when you make plans to hang out? I have had a thing with this guy for about two months by now and we will always make plans to hang out together but at the last second, he will bail. It has happened way to many times. We haven’t even hug out once yet. We only hang out at school. Whenever we make plans, I’ll ask him “so were hanging out for sure right?” and his response is always yes. Then it doesn’t happen. Whenever he does this, it seems like he ends up going longboarding. (he goes literally everyday). I think that’s a reason. I feel like he thinks if we have a relationship he’ll have to give it up. But he won’t. And I haven’t said anything about it to him.
Help please!

Reply January 16, 2011, 5:42 pm

Samantha

I really like your advice and take on relationships. It’s crazy how simple straightforward advice helps when you are in the funk period. I tend to get clouded :/ LOVE this site!!!

Reply January 14, 2011, 10:59 pm

Tracy

Eric, I loved this article and what you had to maturely say. I am going thru the same thing exactly like this. I had met a guy over month 1/2 ago spending almost everyday together and he pursued me as far as calling and txt’ing. He had a lot of personal issues going on at the time and he didn’t feel very equal in the financial relationship (me making more then he). He started pulling away the past couple of weeks and being distant, but again still talking everyday. I decided to make a hard decision for my own sanity and pull away and break it off. I could tell he really didn’t want to do that, but I felt it wasn’t fair to me to wonder and wonder what the heck was going on. He told me 1st on the phone that he was scared to tell me but he said he was in love with me, and when the conversation as over he said I love you! He said he needed space to get things more sorted out in his life and that he needs to figure things out. I can’t hope to see him again as it’s already too painful, but I was wondering from what you have read of my posting if you feel like he just freaked out that things were going to fast, or if it’s because of his situation. I would appreciate any feedback! Thanks

Reply January 5, 2011, 3:07 pm

nat

that was a really really great insight u gave

Reply December 30, 2010, 9:00 am

Stephanie

I am seriously in this situation right now. Things were going great and then all of a sudden he “freaked out.” We were hanging out all the time…more than I’ve hung out with any other guy I’ve dated and it was only a month and a half into it. I leave for med-school in a week and even though it’s only 6 hours away, I think he freaked out that we were too attached. Thanks so much for this article…now I can understand why he freaked out.

Reply December 23, 2010, 2:29 am

S

Great article! Because of you I think I slowly start to understand a man’s mind :D
What a pity I haven’t seen this a few months ago.
I was so confused about this guy and really freaked out, if I only knew the reason before, things may would’ve worked out.
Is there anything you can do if you freaked out a little to much in the freak out phase or does the guy just negotiate with this whole thing after a girl freaks out too much?

Reply November 30, 2010, 5:45 pm

Sarah

This is such an insightful website!

Reply October 18, 2010, 7:01 pm

petal

When I met my fiancé he had just come out of a bad divorce where his ex wife had blamed him a lot. He was very hurt as he felt he was wrongly blamed. I was married and was going through a bad marriage (my ex-husband was a control freak and was abusing me emotionally and mentally) and we ended up loving each other. I took divorce and started living with him.My family hated my fiancé for my divorce and hence we decided to shift outside country and stay out for 2 yrs by which time my parents may calm down. He went to Vietnam 3 months ago and I was supposed to join him in next 10 months. He is a Ph.d in marketing and I am doing Ph.d in advertising. After 1 month in Vietnam , he told me he parties very night and meet very interesting girls. He stopped calling me and talking to me. Then he said he wants to be single and wants to enjoy his life with girls. but he also said he thinks he does not love me and that is why he is having such thoughts. He wants to experiment and be single for a while (he did not mention how long) and see what he feels for me.He said since he is getting attracted to other girls he has a doubt in his mind that maybe I am not THE girl, and he should go around with a few to settle this doubt in his mind. He also said he is not ready for marriage for next two years. He said he thinks their is a future for us but this is a phase and he wants to take it up as an experiment. He also said he hopes if I can stick around till then, but if not he would understand. When I pointed out to him that he has made a commitment to me , he sounded hurt and said , he is not a selfish person and he can stay in this relationship if i term him selfish. I deleted him from my skype but he sometimes (once in a week) pings me on facebook or gmail. He is forever asking me how am I doing. I don’t know what to make out of all this. I love him very much and was ready to go against my family for him. He is not at all good looking , while I am quite pretty. Where did I go wrong . What is he seeking in those girls. He says he likes the challenge for pursuing girls who do not give him much importance. I was his first girlfriend as his marriage was fixed by his parents. What should I do. He does not even talk to his mother for weeks though he does not have a father and he is her only child.She is also in depression because of this, though I try to cheer her up whenever I talk to her.

Reply September 22, 2010, 10:48 am

Energizer Bunny

Eric, I live in DC and the man in question lives in Atlanta. We were introduced by his best friend and talked on the phone for about 3 weeks and we really had a cosmic connection! He flew down July 4th weekend to see me and we had the most marvelous time of our lives. He paid for everything and was my “soul mate”.He continued to call me everyday, chat with me, text and IM for the next two weeks until he vanished for 4 days. I was very upset and responded with what i now know as “needy” behavior. Anyway the next three weeks were pretty much the same including canceling on my trip to Atlanta at the last minute which was very frustrating! I lost my cool because i felt disrespected! Anyway, after much of this distant act he informed me that he cant do “us” right now because he has drama in his life to sort out and needs some space… but will like to keep things “open” between us!! He would not tell me what the drama was and i suspected its an excuse! I didn’t contact him for 2 weeks but finally broke down and sent him an email asking him why he cant tell me what drama he was facing because i want to help him and i got a bit harsh with him. He sent me an email explaining that he needs to take care of the drama himself and wants me to know it has nothing to do with and that i am everything he has ever wanted and i need to stop making things difficult. He said he will like to stay friends and keep communications lines open between us but if i don’t its understandable. I replied his email with a very short apology and asked him to call whenever he is ready to talk. It has been 1 1/2 weeks since the email which he did not reply and i have “moved on”. I hit the gym, going on dates and have accepted he dosen’t like me for whatever reason. NOW…. I get a Facebook message from him sharing an article with me. This was something we did all the time at the beginning send each other interesting articles on politics to analyse so its his way of making contact with me. DO I RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE? He sent it yesterday and i have not written back or anything! What should i do? Test him and see if he writes again or just reply briefly saying something like “cool’? HELP! I know he likes me…… and i know i gave it up too easily and now i need to make him work for me but… how do i do this without making it seem like i don’t want him?

Reply September 15, 2010, 3:55 pm

Missy

Wow,
This fit perfectly with what I was looking for! The advice is real, honest and just what I needed to hear, unfortunately 2 weeks ago…. I loved how it explained all the whining and dining that was done in the beginning of my relationship. My question is… Is there anyway to get over a bad freak-out phase? My guy has feelings for me I know and they are definitely mutual. Is there a way to apologize for not letting him have his freak-out phase and back pace in a sense? He recently said he thought we should move forward but I’m not ready to and I’d like to think he doesn’t really mean that either… Am I crazy?

Reply September 6, 2010, 4:28 pm

Joanne

I am in the ame position I think. I had reconnected with a guy I went to college with (we were only friends then) he lives in the USA now and I am in England. he was hom to see his family and contacted me. We he odd went for a drink really hit it off again and I saw him nearly everyday of his 2 week trip. He seemed surprised at how comfortable he ws able to feel with me and it was all very easy and natural. he went back to the States and called me 4 or 5 times a week for long conversations, as well as texts saying he missed me etc. We have a very similar sense of humour and can both be quite sarcastic. That went on for 4 months and then he came back full time to England. Since then he has been quite lazy on the contact front. he had a friend staying for the 1st weekend he came back but text me each night to try to persuade me to meet them for a drink. He brought his friend to my flat for a drink and everyhting was great. After that all I got was a text saying it was great last night and I miss you , then it has been up to me. Casually text the last couple of days just a hi how are you etc. Decided to bring things to a head and ask if he wanted to meet up, he replied of course! Then I had to suggest which day etc. Anyway we are meeting up on Saturday. I felt we had a real connection including shared history. If I am just something to fill in bored moments why spend 4 months cultivating a relationship with me?? I am glad I found this site because I may have asled him why he seems different but now I won’t! Thanks so much for your wise words!

Reply August 10, 2010, 2:33 pm

Crystal

I am in the same boat here too,I am dating with this guy for 6 months and everything seem really great…He even told me that he misses me and loves me.Last June he invited me to stay on his house for a week so we will know each other better and that is where the confusion begin .We had a great time together but after a week he change.He is not saying the words he used to tell me,he doesn’t text me that much anymore.What really confuses me when he told me that he wanted me but he is worried that I won’t fit on his lifestyle.I don’t get by what he meant by that.I asked him if we are fine and he said yes.Now,I am not texting him that much though it hurts me so bad deep inside.Can you enlighten me?

Reply July 27, 2010, 10:47 pm

Roxanne

“But I would say that when it comes to relationships, it behooves us to BE great and not just try to appear like we are.”

Oh now that is just brilliant advice!!! Truly.

Reply July 16, 2010, 11:32 pm

Confused...deeply

theres a guy…i met him at a school function and he seemed shy at first. Then When i started to notice him he was always behind me, like really close. And he would always come up to me and stand by me. If he was rly close and i needed a little breather from being near him, i would move away and he would follow me slowly. He also gave me a half hug the 2nd day i met him then like the next day before we left he came up and gave me another one. We also had folders with our names on it so people could write us messages, and they would put it in there and we would all read them on the last day on the way home. He left me one with his name and number. but he wont ever text me, im really confused. It also probably wouldnt help that my friend tricked me into writing one i thought was for someone els with my name and number on it saying Dear Random person, but she put it in his bag right infront of him with me standing there, so i really dont know what to do …

Reply July 5, 2010, 9:56 pm

Eric Charles

Hi Sarah,

You pretty much have the idea, but I wanted to make something clear: I am not saying to ignore him to give the appearance of having other things in your life.

I am saying you should actually have other things going on in your life that you’re focusing on. That way, you’re naturally living your life instead of needing him to fill some void you’re filling. Fill yourself up and don’t *need* him to do it for you (by texting you back or giving you attention or anything else…)

I give my opinion in these posts and I try to stay away from being a dating advice column. But I would say that when it comes to relationships, it behooves us to BE great and not just try to appear like we are.

Hope it helps.

Reply June 30, 2010, 11:57 am

Sarah H

I am so so glad I found this website!!!! I was looking for any kind of advice to my situation and this answered all of my questions!! I always invest too much into a “relationship” in the beginning, when there’s really not that much invested into it in the first place. I am in the “freak-out” phase right now, where the guy is doing the freaking out. I wanted to text him stuff like, “What’s wrong?” “What’s your problem?” “Ok fine, I get it, I don’t wanna talk to you either”, especially if he didn’t text me back or make plans every week. This article saved me from being pushy, needy, and chasing HIM, instead of the other way around. I am trying to survive this freak-out phase, but I don’t wanna flat out ignore him, so the strategy you’re implying is to ignore him until he contacts me, just to get the point across that I have stuff going on in my life besides him and to make him miss me?

Reply June 30, 2010, 10:33 am

MarieC

So, how many freak out phases is he allowed to have?

I’ve done exactly this. I just dont know when to draw the line and say okay I’m tired of being an option and not a priority. I live my life and go about it I tell him I’m busy sometimes to make myself a challange. But, we will hang out then he will disappear for a few days and I won’t hear from him. When he starts texting me again… do I respond back? My frinds told me to ignore him for like a week. But, I feel like that is being cold.

Reply June 24, 2010, 9:39 pm

Lola

Alright, here goes…
I was caught off guard when he started to withdraw about 2 months ago… then for 10 days I gave him space… I let him initiate contact, when he did I would jump at the opportunity to talk to him (via text) then I would try to call him and he would not answer the phone, so after I thought about it… I decided to let him know that I got the hint and that I understood that we were no longer in our LDR… He asked me to be his “friend” and at first I agreed… then after some more thought and some serious soul searching, I decided that I was not willing to accept the altered state of our relationship, I didn’t want to be his friend. So, I began the process of moving on with my life… I got back to my classes at school, spent time with great friends, went places and did things that were fun before him… I even started dating… The first 2 weeks were HORRIBLE! I cried often, and fought with myself daily to keep from contacting him…. The 3rd week was much easier, I was very busy with my son’s senior prom, his graduation, and the grad party (all in the same week)… J was no longer dominating my every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment… I am beginning to feel so much more normal and happier, then last night I got a text from him about a vehicle I bought from him that we were having issues with (the last time we had text each other, 3 weeks ago, was about the warranty… we had been texting for a few minutes and I tried to call him to talk instead of texting, again he wouldn’t pick up the phone) So, after that night I stopped any kind of contact.

He sent the newest text last night but I didn’t respond until this morning… Here’s the conversation…

Him: (on Tues. night)
Well I have talked to a dozen people and they said that cuz I sold the vehicle the warranty doesn’t transfer. Sorry baby girl I didn’t mean for it to turn out like that. Hope school is good, miss that silly smile! Call anytime

Me: (on Wed. morning)
No worries… We got the new tranny put in yesterday.
School is going fine, although I didn’t miss the homework. lol
Hope all is well with you.

Him:
Sorry you took over my problems:( , not much change here. Finally filed the bankruptcy! Have to wait until Sept. 1st now for the divorce hearing. Just work out a lot now, put some new pics on body*^#@(.com under (my username) if you get bored. Missing Michigan, need to take a trip up there soon

ME:
Not necessary to apologize… really
I’m taking classes 3 days a week for school, kick boxing 3-4 nights a week, and still working.
T graduated last week!

Him:
Awesome! R got 5 C’s, 2 B’s, and 1 D…He was very happy!

Me:
That’s great! Sounds like you’re getting everything back on track… Keep your focus, it will all fall into place, and be patient! ;)

Him:
Trying to make smart choices. The ex doesn’t bother me anymore at all and that’s a plus!! Thanks for sending the pictures back but I’m gonna keep mine if you don’t mind
(when I initiated NC, I mailed him the portraits of him and his daughter that I had hung on my bedroom wall along with his T-shirt that I slept in. No note, just his stuff…. he had a portrait of my son and I in his room as well)

Me:
I don’t mind at all if you keep it…
I’m glad that she’s letting you move on with your life J…You deserve happiness!

Him:
I sometimes question my choices, I think about you often, you made such an impact on my life. I’m glad that you’re well, don’t forget about me down here! TTYL

This was the last text he sent me and I didn’t respond…

What’s your opinion?

Reply June 17, 2010, 1:41 am

DimeDiva

Hi, Okay this is a long story so buckle your seatbelt! I have been seeing this guy for 3 years and we started off right after I got out of a really bad relationship so we agreed that it would be casual. I have no idea what he was doing before he met me but I am a very open hearted loving person who loves really hard and I try to make things work whatever the situation where as he is a nonchalant person who is not very loving at all but anyhow I started to catch feelings and eventually fell in love with this man. I got pregnant and he didnt want any kids so I aborted it for him, I mean I would do anything to keep him from being mad at me. i know it’s sad but that’s just me. Now over the period of 3 years we would fight argue and he would end it and tell me to go on with my life and I would literally beg him not to leave but he is the stubbornest person i know and he left and I had no choice to let it go but he would always be the one to call like nothing ever happend and tell me he is coming over and we would start back over fresh. And then ofcourse he would do something else to tick me off it’s usually things like not responding to my texts or i will call him and he will say things like I will call you back but never do it but then he pops up at my house at any given time and if he cant reach me, all hell breaks loose and he won’t talk to me for weeks at a time but God forbid he does it to me, i call him out on it and he will break it off again for things he does. This guy is so friggin confusing to me, but I love him I know that he has feelings for me but he will not show them or tell me, why is that? And why does he continue to break off our thing every so often when things are getting good. Like right now this time he had started spending every weekend with me and everything was good and then BOOM just like that he stops answering my texts and calls telling me he is tired of me accusing him of doing things he is not and then the banger he is 30 years old now and i keep saying all of these harsh things to him and he is tired of playing kid games he cant do it anymore when he is the one who start avoiding me! This is soooo crazy I could go on and on but I don’t want to take up time but I don’t want him to go again I have been texting him cussing him out and then I text and left voicemails pouring my heart out to him and he still won’t respond, what do I need to do that is my heart and I don’t want to lose him?

Reply June 7, 2010, 12:54 am

Carmen

My guy thing is a bit complicated. I know a guy who has acted interested in me for months, even though we have only been friends. My friends have even said that he definately likes me.We are in the same church group, but I have been married. My husband and I have been to counseling and have decided to divorce. We have been seperated for a month and a half and are going through all the paperwork. But it seems now that I’m going to be available this other guy has backed off and is mostly ignoring me. Is this the freak out stage where he is trying to decide if he really likes me now that I may be available, or has he decided that he doesn’t want anything with me afterall? He has told a friend of mine when she asked if he had a grilfriend that he was taking a break from dating for now. Is he waiting for me to be free? Am I wasting my time thinking about him so much? His behavior is nice to one time, ignores me the next. I still see him giving me the look across the room on occasion, but he quickly turns away when I notice. He is doing some work for me that I have asked him to meet me for coffee to talk about and so far he has said he is really busy right now, we end up always discussing it before or after our church things with others around. I was hoping to get him outside of the church setting to be able to have one on one with him to see what his real feelings are. But he seems to be avoiding that too. Would it be wrong to ask him if he is interested in me as more than just a friend?

Reply May 24, 2010, 8:55 am

cheri

this is a great website and learn a lot from here. thank you.
i’m so naive in this kind of matter, though am middle-aged woman. haha.

oh, just learnt this freak-out phase and seems i’ve made the mistake which similar to push the buy by texting: “didn’t hear from the guy who said miss me for a week”. he replied but just a smiley face with unmeaningful words.
what should i do now? should i just keep quiet and wait? will him lose his interest in me?
(ar… i should find thie web earlier to avoid all mistakes that have done…)

thanks. :-)

Reply May 2, 2010, 2:27 am

marie

I am in a similar situation right now. I’ve known this guy for three months. We became friends rather quickly and we eventually admitted to liking each other as more than friends. He also said that he wasn’t ready for a relationship at that moment because he’s been hurt in the past and has also hurt someone in the past. We decided that we would just remain friends. Things were fine, until about 10 days later when he kissed me. I kissed him back. At this point I became confused because we had agreed to just being friends, yet a kiss had happened and that signaled something more to me. I didn’t know what his intentions were. He said that he had complicated things by kissing me. A few days later we talked about it and I said that if we were just going to be friends that we needed to set boundaries. He said he agreed. About a week later he started to distance himself away from me. We hardly ever talk anymore. We both go to school together, so occasionally I see him around campus. He is friendly, but distant. This has been going on for one month. I didn’t address it at first because I thought I’d come off as too “needy”. At this point, though, I’m wondering if I should talk about it with him. I’m not trying to chase after him for a relationship. I just really would like us to continue our friendship because I enjoy his company. Communication is important, and there has been very little of that. Would it be wrong to tell him that I value his friendship and that I’d like to continue our friendship?

Reply May 1, 2010, 12:22 am

C

Hello Lora, from reading what you wrote, it appears as though you like this guy a lot, but I am not sure you are being honest with yourself with what you want from him. Meaning,you said you started looking for places to live together, but you said you can understand why he would want to date other women. It has been six months in, if he is still interested in seeing other people, keep in mind that there may be something with the dynamic between you two that is keeping him searching or maybe he is just plain out not interested in being with one person. Have you ever discussed that with him? All of the minimizing calls, acting lighthearted – are those your genuine feelings or what you think you should do to keep things going. Throughout any circumstance it is imperative to be tru to yourself and make requirements for people to treat you in the fashion you wish and deserve to be treated, if this deep down is you accomodating more to please him than you truly getting your needs met, you need to evaluate if it’s right for You. If you are ok with settling for his company, while being ok with whatever else he does (with or without you), just paly it cool tommorrow, have a good time and live in the moment when you see him-keep reminding yourself to enjoy the moment. But if all of the lightheartedness is a ploy for a means to an end, you are only short changing yourself and deserve to be in a situation where the communication and expectations are natural and free flowing and not feigned. You owe that to yourself.

Reply April 17, 2010, 3:36 pm

Lola

So, here’s the deal…We started dating 6 months ago (long distance)… Things were on fire , running at 100 mph, he had brought up the issue of me moving to be with him, I agreed that it was the more reasonable option to him moving here, we looked at condos, we went to different cities to figure out what suited us best… I continued at the same pace we had been going all along and suddenly I noticed he had stopped talking and saying the things he was saying at the beginning. I did the usual “insecure girl thing”, I became needy and asked if we were ok, and told him I needed reassurance.He did give me reassurance, but what he said was “we’re fine but your going to have to back off a little, I can’t breathe and I want to know that’s it’s going to be alright now and in our future for both of us to have our own time.” Now that I know how a man perceives what I did, I know it was the wrong thing to do. So, I have stopped initializing conversations, I don’t call him or text him first, if he sends a message I reply in a lighthearted joking manner. I have not asked him why he was too busy to call when he said he would. I have made myself busy with my own priorities again… I know that he has tried to set up dates with another woman, I don’t know how it went and he doesn’t know I am aware of it, he lied to me about being asleep when he was on the phone with her, I just acted like it was not a big deal “you must have really needed sleep”…. anyway, I don’t know if I should make it clear I am waiting for his call or if I should purposely wait to answer?I think we could have a great future and I do understand him wanting to date other women, he was in a controlling 14 yr relationship… and I don’t want to be a “needy” person, I know my independence was what attracted him in the first place…I’m just not sure if I can reverse the damage I caused by trying to “morph” into him, by losing myself in our relationship for a while… I’m over that now and want him to see that… Please send me a reply as soon as you can, I am on my way to visit him tomorrow and want to use your advise while I am with him.Thank you so much!

Reply April 17, 2010, 12:57 pm

Eric Charles

Thank you. ;)

Reply April 4, 2010, 7:36 pm

sarah m

u look like an attractive guy in ur photo!

Reply April 4, 2010, 7:14 pm

Eric Charles

Yes, pretty much. You’re not shutting the door or being cold to him, you’re just keeping your life full of great options so that it takes the pressure off of the relationship to be a certain way. Lifting the pressure of the relationship in this way can really help the relationship to blossom, especially in the beginning. On the other hand, not having a full life and needing the relationship to be a certain way (or else) can smother the relationship.
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I totally understand you hoping for him to come back. There’s nothing wrong with that and we’ve all felt that type of thing in our lives at one point or another. The trick is to stay busy so that hope stays as something lighthearted and doesn’t grow into a bitter obsession.
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Thank you for all of your praise – I sincerely appreciate it. I always like hearing that my writing here is helpful.

Reply March 24, 2010, 9:46 pm

Welshgirl

Thanks Eric – yes it does help. So what you’re saying is I shouldn’t care about whether he comes running back or not, because my life should be full enough for him not to matter?

I’ll keep working on that, whilst harbouring the secret hope that he might just miss me enough to come back all by himself! Thanks for the advice, keep up the great work.

Reply March 24, 2010, 8:02 pm

Eric Charles

I wouldn’t specifically recommend making yourself unavailable. I would recommend not needing him to do something, be around, be a certain way, etc. Non-neediness.
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Keep your life busy so if he doesn’t come through at one time or another, you have backup options and you’re not left hanging.
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If more girls did that, I don’t think my e-mail box would be filled with questions about why the guy didn’t text back… they’d be too busy living the rest of their lives to worry about it.
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Neediness is what smothers relationships, especially at the beginning. So having a life filled with variety and interesting, fun things to do will prevent you from falling into the trap of “neediness”.
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And the time you spend together will be better too, since you’ll be enjoying each other’s company as a choice among many choices as opposed to being the only enjoyable choice and having no other good options.
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Hope that helps.

Reply March 24, 2010, 3:27 pm

Welshgirl

I just wanted to say how I have found these articles so helpful during a recent confusing relationship. I think that your well balanced advice helps enormously in understanding how men see things. If only I had read this one earlier, as I got to the ‘freakout phase’ with my guy, I pushed him too much, and he ditched me! We got on really well and were very attracted to each other, and now, 2 weeks since he ended it, he is fliritng with me on Facebook again. I’m thinking, if I want this guy back, I need to become unavailable for a while and see if he comes to me – am I right?

Reply March 24, 2010, 11:15 am

Nadia

It has , because i beileve a man should always be given his space. However it is a bit ridiculous when he doesn’t get back to you for age, but by then as the person i am ; have learnt to fold it and move on !! People need to enjoy life :) !!

Reply March 16, 2010, 10:37 am

Eric Charles

@Nadia
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Thank you very much. I always love to hear that what I wrote connected with someone and actually made sense. I really try my best to give value with these articles, so comments are always appreciated.

Reply March 15, 2010, 10:58 pm

Nadia

I must say , Eric is one of the few real men that has made any sense about other men !!

Keep this up and more importantly , well done !!

Reply March 15, 2010, 7:11 pm

Eric Charles

Thank you so much! You made my day. :)

Reply March 8, 2010, 11:14 am

sarah m

i live in the uk and i have to say that this is the best web site i have found that deals with things in a way that makes absolute complete sense, straight forward and clearly from a man who knows what he is talking about…its great

Reply March 8, 2010, 8:49 am

C

Hey Lynz,
Sounds like you need to stop responding to his texts and put him completely out of your life by ignoring him. He will get the point, his random lazy texts are a cheap attempt/ reassurance to himself that he has control of your emotions. Don’t give it to him instead realize how selfish he is and how you felt when you had to sell your flat and when you found out he slept with other people. That should keep things in perspective for you.

Reply February 28, 2010, 10:28 am

Lynz

I’m still trying to figure out my ex!!! We were together best part of 5 years and lived togther for 2,everything was great until we moved in…then things started to go downhill. I admit maybe we moved in a little too soon but i repeatedly asked him if he was ready and he was just as excited as i was. Anyway to cut a very long story short the ass wipe left me one Sunday morning to go back to his mums saying he didn’t know what he wanted and that he felt lost!!!(BULLXXXT)…I had to sell my gorgeous flat and move back with my parents whilst he was still trying to figure himself out(by sleeping with a whole host of other girls)TWAT!!! Anyway it’s been 3 years and he is still contacting me,i don’t know what to do,he is messing with my head so much that i can’t move on..i forget about him and start to feel happy then BANG!! he txt’s..never calls might i mention! What the hell is going on?Is it me that’s causing this???HELP!!!!x

Reply February 23, 2010, 5:39 pm

Noll

is it ever too late after a year of spending roughly half of it making mistakes, being needy, asking when you’re going to see him again (ouch!), being a bit claustrophobic, giving out about broken promises etc etc – to prove you’re actually different, you’re not all that negative energy? I have not been like this all the time, it just pains that I’ve given the worst impression! Liz, wish I’d seen your kind of advice about a year ago, things just might’ve turned out differently, very realistic and un-accusing reasoning.

Reply January 6, 2010, 2:10 pm

liz

I’ve learned that consistency + familiarity = commitment. This is why I think this guy is doing what I call the “bait and switch”. He starts calling more randomly, tries to see you on short notice, acts distant, etc. I agree with Eric that it’s also a way of him trying to see how much you care. If he takes a step back and you follow, he’ll do it even more to see how far you’ll follow. Then, you’re letting him have control of where the relationship is going. You have to be equals in a relationship and if he likes you, he’ll put in as much as you do….and you should only put in as much as he does. But if he takes a step back and acts distant, take a step back yourself….and make yourself busy by keeping up your routine. Don’t wait by the phone and cancel all your plans to make yourself available to him. And if you’re busy? You’ll hardly notice that he hasn’t called and he’ll pick up on that. He’ll start to wonder if you’ve missed him and if you don’t have an attitude about it (and why should you? You’re busy, he’s busy…so who cares?). If he cares for you, he’ll stop running and come looking for you because he no longer feels like his freedom is being threatened. Everything you chase in life runs away so let him pursue you. If he goes MIA, let him and don’t call him, don’t go looking for him. When he’s ready, he’ll come looking for you.

Reply December 15, 2009, 11:39 am

Keli

I’m starting to feel we’re damned if we do…damned if we don’t…

so if I let on that I like you (too much)…you might freak out, thus running for the hills…

if I let on that I like you (but not enough)…I’m not feeding into your need for validation, thus sending you running towards the hills…

oh boi.

Reply November 8, 2009, 11:10 pm

blue

ha ha omg sooo true!!

currently dating someone and he has a ton of baggage in the form of “kids!”, first he’s all gung ho and tracking me down and calling me everyday and actually being quite hilarious about it all. and trying to shove his kids down my throat and accept his whole situation within a month of knowing each other and telling me how much he wants me in his life and on and on and on… and I’m like holy crap give me two minutes to catch up and decide if I like you and want to take on your brady bunch arrangement and alter my whole life and social life to be in something with you… well I guess I didn’t respond fast enough, thus did not validate his whole situation within the time frame that was acceptable to him, plus I liked him a lot and wanted US to develop our relationship FIRST before introducing the whole kid scenario (god it’s only been a MONTH!!) and now he’s all mister silent one liner texts and not calling last few days, when I ask him what’s wrong? he says nothing I’m just really busy etc etc. sigh. I don’t know what to do. He wanted me to go with him and his son to a movie on Friday night but he asked me that day and I sort of had a lot of things to do… so now he’s all super quiet. plus now he knows I do like him a lot, so part of the quietness might be his whole internal freak out happening, who knows. blah!

Reply October 14, 2013, 5:44 pm

Confused Girl

Question: Can the “freak out phase” happen when you’ve been together a year and a half or so as opposed to in the beginning of a relationship?

After we moved in he started to withdraw and then, yes, i would ask over and over wtf was going on, so i was hurt and “freaked out” too i guess. Didn’t expect to move in with someone to have that happen. Why’d he bother then? Plus we were so in love and then it was like all of a sudden he withdrew. He also appeared to get paranoid or something, sometimes saying things that didn’t make sense. So this eventually lead to him breaking it off, which it seemed he was kinda struggling with letting me go and then he finally did just end it. I’ll admit the relationship became strained cuz of this, with 5 months of “what’s going on here” it would, but before he withdrew though, we didn’t have any problem like that. Things were cool. No big heavy discussions or whatever. To me it was like a bump in the road and let’s fix it (i was commited, i didn’t take the move in step to not put in effort) but it felt like no cooperation on the other end.

During this break up, which has been 4 months long now, 3 months of it has been where it’s like he just snapped and he’s done things like spend his money carelessly, flirted around, slept with someone once- just came across acting very selfish and didn’t seem to care about anything or anyone, including himself. What could I say? He was technically single but his behaviours looked to me like the kind of things one does to avoid or distract. And of course it hurt. Still does. I can’t figure out why I seemed to have been devalued so much.

He’s been asked apparently by people why he would break up with me. He maintains that he’s happiest alone where he’s not responsible for anything with a relationship or what it entails basically and he wants to always be alone… Never get in a relationship again, all that jazz. He says i am so special and has never loved anyone like me before but can’t help how he feels this way. (I should mention that this guy went through a really bad break up with someone he was with for a while and married to a very short time but this was probably like 8yrs ago. Got burned bad. Maybe it’s a factor? Since then, for the whole time until now he’s only played the field basically. Seeing different people and that’s really it, nothing serious. I am the first girl since that time he’s gotten real serious with. To him i was “the one” it seemed. He didn’t live with anyone or no lengthly commitment between the bad break up and me etc.)

We still live together cuz i’m waiting for financial reasons (and yes that’s the truth, not an excuse to stay and no, believe it or not, i have nowhere else to go-i tried. He has a place he could go until i move but he won’t go, he wants to live here but is gone a lot) so that’s been a challenge in itself in this situation but i kinda find that if he thinks i am shifting into “move on mode” he seems more attentive/more communication or if he thinks i think he doesn’t love me or care or ever did or whatever, he has to contest it. It’s like it bothers him if i think that.

That spark and love is still there but only if he opens up. Most of the time he keeps himself at distance and won’t go there. I know he knows it’s there and he’s purposely closing it off. Very seldom has there been moments where he opens the door slightly, but it’s happened and the feelings flood back, but then it shuts soon after.

So then really recently he has been kinda treating me like we’re together. There’s a bit of a distance he keeps but there’s the kisses, holding hands, affection, calling me babe and hunny, letting me know where he is, acting this way with me in front of his parents, inviting me to be with him often, calls me on his lunch, a couple times of questions that hinted he was jealous a bit etc… However, the distance is that i can feel he’s not giving himself completely. If he were to be asked he’d say we’re not together. I believe he just told someone that. Why wouldn’t he even just say we’re not back but just seeing each other right now… Something? That concerns me. That’s when i wonder, is he testing the waters or using me cuz it’s comfortable or for whatever reason? Of course, as i said, this is all really recent that this has taken place so maybe he’s still hesitant to jump into any form of commitment status but i don’t want to be playing house at his convenience, where he plays the “single” card when it suits him. That’s really my concern mostly. I don’t need a label per se, i just don’t want to be playing around. He knows that i’m not interested in that sort of thing. Plus if around friends or family he’s acting this certain way, which he has been, i find it embarrassing for him to turn around and say there’s nothing between us. I just look like some desperate pushover or something. I haven’t been a pushover during this break up. I’ve lived my life, gone out, been on a couple friendly dates and stuff, stood my ground but i haven’t slept with anyone or anything for that matter. I am so not ready. But with this recent behaviour of his, i’ve been letting it happen and going with the flow. I just wonder what the hell he’s doing or got in his head because despite these really recent changes, he still considers himself single and feels he wants to be alone. I haven’t asked him about what he’s doing. I just know he’d say he still feels he wants to be alone. I’m really confused and don’t want to be a fool here and won’t put up with that if he’s just playing around. I would be so mad if he is just being selfish here. How disrespectful that would be!

Can you shed any light on what you think is up here? As well, how do i respond to it to ensure he’s not just using me without it seeming confrontational or freaking him out? I know if i were to ask, as i said, he’d say he told me he wants to be alone and say but he loves me and can’t help it or something like that. I would automatically think he’s using me in that response. But if he’s testing the waters, he probably wouldn’t admit it right now. This is just crazy to me. He’s 40 and i’m 33. Is this odd for 40? What the heck is going on with this guy? I need to know if i should just move on.

Sorry so long! Need help!.

Reply July 23, 2009, 2:31 pm

PG

I wish i had read this sooner! My guy and I did NOT survive the freak-out phase because I too “freaked out”! He told me we shouldn’t see each other anymore because he could feel my tension on our last date. It’s been 4 days, I’m hoping he comes back…
Great article BTW. I’m going to remember it always!

Reply July 3, 2009, 2:55 pm

Eric Charles

Sarah –

Wow, thank you so much for saying that. I appreciate the compliment and I totally agree with what you’re saying. In fact, this was something I’ve been thinking about writing on in the near future: the evaluating period of the relationship, in pretty much exactly the way that you aptly described it.

Again, thanks… hope you comment more posts. :)

Reply April 30, 2009, 4:26 pm

Janna

Hey, so I think this is a great website and is very helpful for women! I am actually in this situation right now! We met on a dating website a few months ago and recently I found out he was still on not one, but TWO dating websites. I would not have thought this was a big deal, if on our third date, when I told him I wanted to take things slow and just get out there and date, and he told me to “get back to him when I’m done dating.” I never asked him to get off the dating websites, I just asked that he let me know if he wants to date other people and to just be honest with me. He looked at me like I was crazy and assured me he was not dating anyone else. A week later I saw that he was active on two dating websites…I got mad called him out on it, and told him to take care and hung up on him. He never called back. I immediately knew I had made a mistake. The next night, I sent him an email apologizing for how I handled the situation and that I would like to give it a second chance. He text me two days later saying that he was in a relationship where he was hung up on, walked out on and basically treated like crap for nothing. He likes me, but he’s confused, and he does miss me. I responded saying that I get that and I understand I don’t handle certain situations the best, but that I’ve learned my lesson and I was just sad that I had to learn it this way. That was two weeks ago and he has never responded…I know that it’s over, but I really liked him and I really miss him and want this to work. Is there any chance? I know…I’m pathetic.

Reply November 8, 2011, 10:26 pm

Sarah

I just wanted to say I appreciated Eric’s quippy commen in response to the “other Sarah” as I have so generously decided to dub her be that I think these articles are insightful. I appreciate that you take the time to recognize that most people are driven by their own insecuritiea and that it is important to realize what you can and can’t change/control. You definitely get the most satisfying results in a relationship when you behave like yourself and refrain from counting chickens before they hatch, so to speak. Also, it’s nice to have guys like you, but remember: you may not be that in to him if you slow down and think about it. Use the beginning of a relationship to do your own evaluating and leave him to his.

Reply April 30, 2009, 3:43 pm

Yasmin

Where were you all this time I was making so many mistakes in my relationships?!?!

Reply April 22, 2009, 12:40 pm

Anna

Just wanted to say I thought this was a great article.

Reply April 15, 2009, 10:00 am

Eric Charles

People like texting. It’s an excuse to whip out their fabulous new iPhone-of-the-moment. (or if you’re me, my G1) :)

Reply April 9, 2009, 12:23 am

Pam

ugh. since when did texting become the end-all in a relationship? do people talk anymore?

Reply April 8, 2009, 11:39 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks – I take that as a compliment. They have a great looking site.

Ours is totally different content though… and more pink. :)

Reply March 12, 2009, 11:44 am

Sarah

This website looks a little like a wannabe WhoWhatWearDaily

Reply March 12, 2009, 11:18 am

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