Am I Being Selfish Wanting My Boyfriend to Show Me More Love and Affection?

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 8 years. He is a wonderful provider and feels that I should know he loves me by the things he does for me. I explained to him that I don’t feel loved because he barely touches me and he never gives me compliments. He said he’s not going to change. If I didn’t think he could do it, it would be one thing, but he did it when we first met. He said he loves me and I love him and I want to make it work, but I’m sick of being the only one trying. I’ve been away for a week and a half now and I’m standing my ground. The only way I will give him another chance is if he agrees to go to counseling. Am I wrong in wanting this? Am I being selfish because he does provide me with a lot of things that I am very appreciative for but he resents me because I always want more (i.e. to feel loved through affection and attention). As a guy, what advice or message would you give him?

Kate

There’s a lot more to this question than you originally asked, Kate.

I’ll begin with validation: if it’s important for you to receive more love and affection, then, by all means, you should receive more love and affection.

The real question is whether it’s from this 8-year boyfriend.

Brace yourself for this, Kate, but I would advise him to dump you.

I don’t think it is.

Let’s back into that answer, by starting from the blind spot at the heart of your email:

“As a guy, what advice or message would you give him?”

Brace yourself for this, Kate, but I would advise him to dump you.
Not because you don’t deserve more love and affection. We already established that you do.

No, I think he should dump you because there are a LOT more problems in your relationship than you’re letting on and you should BOTH find partners who make you happier.

First of all, he’s not the one who is writing this email. Which is why you soliciting advice for him is as irrelevant as if he emailed me that he wants a blowjob every Friday and what advice did I have for you on how you can accomplish that.

Second of all, you’ve been dating for 8 years. What does it tell you if a man hasn’t proposed in 8 years? Tells me that he doesn’t want to marry you.

And if that’s in question, what does it tell you if your boyfriend never compliments you or touches you? Tells me that he doesn’t feel warm or affectionate towards you. The fact that he did when you first met 8 years ago is another irrelevant fact, unless you think that people’s feelings are not allowed to change over a decade. Fact is: most relationships change over 8 years: if you’re in a good one, it changes for the better. Yours changed for the worse.

You have to learn to speak his love language – and I’m pretty sure it’s not “threats.”

Finally, even though I could recommend you both read The Five Love Languages, start finding ways to please him and, in return, get more words of affirmation, your handling of this situation indicates that you might both need counseling and a change of scenery.

Your way of fixing this situation is telling him what a disappointment he is, writing to me, insisting he go to counseling, and taking an indefinite trial separation until he bends to your will.

I’m no psychologist, but I’m not positive that this is the healthiest way to get what you want. You’ve berated him, shamed him, and given him an ultimatum…and you think NOW is the time he’s going to start being more affectionate? You might as well force him to kiss you at gunpoint.

You have to learn to speak his love language – and I’m pretty sure it’s not “threats.”

In learning to be a better communicator with him, you then have the right to illustrate to him how he can better please you.

If, after all that, he refuses to change, your last resort is recognizing what the rest of us do – your eight-year saga is not one you want to continue to prop up. Let him go. Go to therapy. Become a better communicator. Choose a better man who speaks your love language without much prodding. And don’t waste a decade of your life waiting for a guy to act like he did during the first three months simply because he’s a good provider.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Jeremy

    I think Evan’s advice is pretty much bang-0n.  Just to add to the point, the OP’s question, although understandable, displays a large blind spot.  She is asking how to get her BF to be more affectionate…but not asking why he isn’t already more affectionate.  Might his feelings for her be uncertain (in which case making demands of him will hardly be effective)?  Might SHE also be failing to speak to him in his own love language, leading to his lack of interest?  Might he wish for a woman who appreciates his “providership” and understands his love through his actions rather than demanding more and more of him?  And if so, is the OP the right woman for him in the first place?

     

    It’s not that her needs are unimportant, but neither are they all-important.  She is missing quite literally half of the equation.  And if this man ends up caving in to her demands, going to therapy, and giving her more verbal affection, will she consider “them” to be a happy couple just because she is happier?

    1. 1.1
      Clare

      I have to say, I’ve never understood people who refer to someone’s legitimate need for human love and affection as “demands.” Maybe you can explain it to me, Jeremy?

       

      If you cannot get love, kisses, hugs and compliments from the person you are in an intimate relationship with, where are you supposed to get it?

       

      I suppose I can understand that there are people in this world who are not very affectionate. And I can certainly understand people who don’t want to be affectionate with someone they don’t love. But the OP has said her boyfriend says he loves her, and NEVER touches her. I am sorry, but I am battling to find that defensible.

      1. 1.1.1
        Jeremy

        Clare, I agree with you that something is very wrong here in a relationship where the OP is not receiving physical or verbal affection from her BF.  I am, in no way, claiming that this is a good or defensible relationship.  All I’m trying to say is that there is more to the story than HER demands.  That she needs to realize that something must be wrong on HIS end as well, and that making demands of him will not solve the problem.  Her giving him ultimatums – express verbal affection to me or I walk – are not necessarily unreasonable, but they are one-sided.  WHY isn’t he already doing this?  What is wrong with the relationship from his perspective?

         

        It is an unfortunate truth that when things go sour in relationships, most men react by withdrawing.  It would be better if they communicated to try to improve their relationships, better if they did research and reading and counselling….but ultimately most succumb to what their brains tell them to do, which is flee.  This guy is withdrawn.  Something is wrong – he isn’t getting something that he needs.  And rather than trying to find out what it is, the OP is giving ultimatums to receive what she wants.  My point was that even if she succeeds, she will be the only happy one in the relationship.

        1. Clare

          I see what you are saying, and agree that healthy communication from both ends would be a much better way to solve this than withdrawing and giving ultimatums.

           

          I suppose I’ve just been in a similar situation where someone has withdrawn from me, and I have tried to ask what is wrong, or get to the bottom of it, without judgment, and have been stonewalled. To me, taking away one’s love and affection without explanation is akin to cheating because you are not happy in the relationship. A harsh way of looking at it maybe, but the pain can be just as great for the person on the other side.

        2. Jeremy

          I agree Clare.  I think that if a man stonewalls a woman long-term and can not (or will not) communicate, she might be better off leaving the relationship.  Especially if they are not married and have no kids, like the OP.  But before making that decision, it might be worth a try to introspect what the partner might truly want and try to give it to them, rather than trying to constantly get him to talk.

           

          It is worth noting that women tend to bond by talking, whereas men who are stressed often see talking as an attack.  In trying to get a man to open up, a woman with the best of intentions often does the opposite of what she is trying to accomplish.  Set him at ease first with your actions, then talk to him.  And if that doesn’t work, leave with the knowledge that you’ve done your best.

        3. Clare

          That’s great advice, Jeremy. And I genuinely appreciate your patient insight into the male perspective for our benefit.

           

          But if the person won’t really tell you what’s wrong, or what you can do to make it better, aren’t you just taking a stab in the dark trying to fix things yourself? I mean, that can work up to a point. One can certainly try easing up or being a better girlfriend etc. But if it’s work stress, or health issues, or family troubles, or they’re unsure of their feelings or commitment, or any number of things you can do nothing about, then it’s painful to be just shut out. I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but there’s a reason women like to communicate and talk – we’re not mind readers. I don’t agree with talking an issue to death or having lengthy, frequent discussions about this. I find those just as soul-sucking as men do. But I confess I have very little patience with people who are sullen and withdrawn and just want other people to *get* them.

           

          Ok, I’ve made my point now. I won’t hammer it any more!

        4. Clare

          * lengthy, frequent discussions about things

        5. Jeremy

          Yup, it can be a wild stab in the dark.  But some people are better guessers than others, or perhaps more patient with themselves when they get the answer wrong.  I’ve had to do plenty of wild stabbing in the dark in my own marriage until I finally got the right answer.   Because whereas men obscure their needs by withdrawing, women often obscure their needs by creating excuses…but I digress.

           

          Sometimes I’m the sullen guy who withdraws, in spite of my conscious knowledge that doing so is harmful.  That pesky fight-or-flight response is very powerful during times of stress, and males lack the “tend-and-befriend” adaptation that women use to overcome it.  So my humble advice to women is to be as patient as you can with men in this regard, because they (we) have a legitimate disadvantage in dealing with stress as compared to women.  Hopefully most men can overcome their tendency for withdrawal through conscious effort, and hopefully most women can discover ways they can help men overcome this issue, and realize that it will not be overcome by conversational bonding as it would for women.

        6. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          That pesky fight-or-flight response is very powerful during times of stress, and males lack the “tend-and-befriend” adaptation that women use to overcome it.  So my humble advice to women is to be as patient as you can with men in this regard, because they (we) have a legitimate disadvantage in dealing with stress as compared to women. 

          You are spot on in this discussion with respect to men selecting flight because the only other response that we have to stress is fight.  Some men withdraw while others resort to verbal or physical abuse.

  2. 2
    Melinda

    I second reading The Five Love Languages!

    1. 2.1
      Teresa

      Melinda…

      Would you please tell me the five love language?

       

  3. 3
    Luka

    I usually disagree with advising people to ‘dump him/her’, but here I tend to agree with Evan.

    There are things that can be worked on in a relationship, but it sounds like here Kate just wants her boyfriend to be a different person. If I was talking to Kate in person I’d ask her how important this is to her – is it an absolute non-negotiable? And I’d point out how perhaps he shows his love in a different way (she hints that she already knows this, really). And still, non-negotiable? Then its best to part ways.

    If I was really wanting to see the positive here, I’d remember that any 8 year old relationship will inevitably be a many faceted thing, and perhaps a skilled therapist could guide them through this slowly.

     

  4. 4
    Helene

    I wonder if Evan’s advice would be any different if they were already married? It sounds to me as though this guy has just become lazy about expressing affection/giving complements now that he is in a long term relationship, and that is an issue that can commonly occur in a marriage.He no longer perceives the need to make that small effort, which men make during the “courting” phase – now he’s “got” her he’s stopped bothering.  Its all very well to say “put up with it or leave” but even if the OP leaves, how is she any better off- the next boyfreid could start out fine too (as so many do!) but 8 years down the line she could be back in the same boat… Is there really no effective mechanism for encouraging men to pull their socks up in a relationship?

    1. 4.1
      Jeremy

      Helene I think there are 2 answers to your question.  The first is to choose a man who is more likely to prioritize and value your needs – not necessarily more than his own, but not too distant of a 2nd priority.  But more important than that, I think the key to encouraging men to “pull their socks up in a relationship” is for women to do the same.  And the difficulty there is in the assumptions that men and women both make as to what that should look like.

       

      This is an arguable point, but I have observed that many people have a system of values and priorities that is subjective, but that they believe to be objective.  Take, for example, the issue of leaving socks on a bedroom floor.  Many women believe that picking up the socks and having a spotless floor is an objective imperative – and so it follows that it should be the equal and shared responsibility of both partners to pick up the socks.  The problem arises when the man sees no issue with the socks on the floor.  If he lived alone, the socks would remain on the floor until such time as he needs to do laundry.  If his wife demands that he pick them up, it is for her own subjective priorities, not his.  And so he may acquiesce to her requests, but sees doing so as a favor to her rather than a legitimate shared responsibility.
      Why does any of this matter?  Because after years of acquiescing to a partner’s requests/demands, a person will often burn out – especially when his own priorities are ignored.  And what might his priorities be?  Often they are simply to not be henpecked or nagged about things that don’t matter to the man in question.

       

      The woman who nags her husband to pick up the socks often does not realize that she is doing as much damage to her marriage as the man who leaves the socks on the floor.  Both are ignoring the priorities of the other.  Neither is realizing that their own priorities are not more important than those of their partner – that their priorities are subjective and not objective.

       

      How can women encourage men to prioritize the needs of women?  They can prioritize the needs of men.  The ACTUAL needs of men, not what women believe men’s needs SHOULD be.  If they do that, and if they chose good men, the rest should follow.

    2. 4.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      I can almost assure you: it did not take 8 years for this man to show his stripes. She chose to stay for 8 years.

      1. 4.2.1
        Selena

        Yes, and he has told her he isn’t going to change.

        I think she might benefit going to counseling on her own in hopes of understanding why she chose to stay for 8 years.

        Ultimatums aren’t going to make this guy WANT to touch and compliment her.

    3. 4.3
      Nissa

      Jeremy, excellent explanation of subjective vs objective values. I had this argument with my ex for over a decade. He wanted the dust wiped off the top of the refrigerator weekly. I argued that 1) no one sees it and 2) if he thought it was so important he should do it, not me as I was already doing other things that he required – vacuuming, mopping, and cleaning the stove on a regular schedule. I drew the line at wiping off dust that no one even saw. But he insisted that not doing it meant we were ‘objectively’ living in a dirty house.

      I solved this by getting a cleaning lady…right up until the divorce. Now I live happily with my always-top-dusty fridge and am much happier.

    4. 4.4
      Bob

      There has to be something worth courting, worth chasing. This woman might not be worth it.

  5. 5
    Karen

    We all stay in relationships for our own reasons though don’t we? My own mother chose to stay with a womanising, emotionally​ and physically​ abusive alcoholic man. To this day it seems incredulous to me, that any person would subject themselves to such misery.

    Yes the letter writer is  obviously unhappy with her situation but is she unhappy enough to leave? Only she will know if/when the time comes.

  6. 6
    Stacy

    Of course she should dump him. Of course he did it in the beginning of the relationship. In the beginning, effort is effortless because of the newness and chemistry.  Plus, everyone is on his best behavior. Everyone pretends.

    This is who he is…he is not affectionate and it is not something he enjoys. If I ask my man for something, and he refuses to give it to me (especially if it costs him nothing tangible), then he is either not that into me, or what I have asked him to do is unreasonable (to him).  Your love language is not negotiable.  It is that quality that creates happiness within your relationship. Personally, I am not that affectionate (my boyfriend is way more affectionate than I am) and could have possibly dealt with this. But alas, everyone is different and this relationship is not for you.

  7. 7
    Yet Another Guy

    This relationship is definitely a love language mismatch.  Of all of the things that I have learned on this blog, understanding my primary and secondary love languages is the most useful.  It is fairly clear that Kate’s boyfriend is an acts of service person whereas she is a physical touch/words of affirmation person.

    I agree with Stacy on with respect to strong initial chemistry.  Guys will do and say a lot of things that are just not representative of who they are in daily life at the beginning of a relationship.  That is the primal urge to pursue and conquer talking.

  8. 8
    N

    Yet another lesson for men and women alike. If and when needs are not met early on. Cut him/her loose. 8 years? And the OP is pushing back now? Good luck with that.

    Personally, if my needs are not met within 3-6 months tops (I learned this the hard way, I waited one year), it doesn’t matter if he is a CEO of Fortune 500, “hot bad boy”, physician, blue collar, partner in law firm, engineer, professor,  self-employed… WALK. Trust me. He will call after sometime (after trying all options possible) and will ask if you can start fresh! And because you personally rock, your career rock, you are in your best form, you can run marathons, climb Aconcagua, rescue animals, be the best daughter, mother, friend and boss… it is all up to you!  You call the shots. Fire or give your intern another chance. Just my 2 cents.

    Thank you Mr. Katz! N.

     

     

     

     

     

  9. 9
    Nissa

    This makes me wonder how long it actually took for this guy to show his real character. I know for myself, when I look back at my ex he showed red flags far earlier than I realized, that at the time I chalked up to having a bad day or being a single event. Those things were actually harbingers of events to come, a reveal of his true personality.

    That being said, what is the consensus on how long it takes to really know someone, so see their true colors? If I’m being honest, I’d say it took about a year for me to really start seeing those things in my exes. Granted, I’m older and wiser now, but most of the men I’ve dated really seem to be able to hide these things well, even when we lived together. Then again, I’m not a snooper and generally believe what people say is true, instead of checking to see if it’s true.

    1. 9.1
      Yet Another Guy

      Does you ex still behave that way now that you no longer together?

      1. 9.1.1
        Nissa

        As far as I know, he is still doing the things I would term ‘bad behavior’, yes. But then, I haven’t spoken to him for years. So, in one way, I don’t see his behavior as about me at all. On the other hand, people don’t do things for no reason, do they? I believe that if he had showed me early on that he was comfortable with ‘shading the truth’ by a considerable margin, was careless with the feelings of others, and wanted his lifestyle to include bars & regular drinking….I would have dumped him. I think he wanted to continue with me because I made him feel good, was loyal and very much in love with him. I think he liked that about me, and wanted that for himself, without thinking too much about whether not I got my needs met. In fairness, I should have thought about that myself, but had not yet learned those boundaries. So, lesson learned.

        But this is why I no longer believe in sex, early in dating. It’s not a dislike of sex or an indicator of frigidity. It’s a recognition that when I give myself, I do so fully. I don’t have a ‘give a little bit’ function. My father, when he was alive, used to say: “When Nissa loves, she gives her whole heart”. I seem to be unable to give my body without giving my heart…which is really more than a man wants when he’s first dating. It sounds good, but most of us don’t really like getting more than is earned, is fair or is a higher level of commitment than we are giving. Again, quite fair. But for me to maintain a lower level of passion, commitment and interest, I have to keep a physical distance. I’m a giver, and I am still learning to mitigate that desire when it is not merited. In practical terms, that translates to letting the man pursue me – only responding when he calls, plans & pays.

        While it’s true that I hold off until after a 3rd date to let my freak flag fly, I almost never get to a 3rd date. I find it to be true that many things people say about themselves do not translate into the actions that would support those statements (both genders). I don’t think they are lying, I think most people are generally deluded about how others perceive them and who they truly are. Often my perceptions of them are very different than how they have described themselves…and my opinion takes precedent.

  10. 10
    Selena

    I’m wondering why this issue of lack of physical contact and compliments became a deal breaker now, after 8 years.  The LW says her boyfriend did these things when they first met, and my guess would be she talked to him about it back when she noticed he had stopped.  If he never made an effort, didn’t she come to accept “he is the way is” as time went on? Why is this so important 8 years later?

    He has flat out told her he’s not going to change.  And cold as that may sound, what makes her think he would change after almost a decade? Even if he started touching and complimenting her to keep her in his life, wouldn’t she doubt his sincerity? Know that he was only doing it under duress, going against his nature? How long would he be able to keep it up even if he tried?

    EMK suggested there are more issues in the relationship than the LW is letting on.  I get that feeling also – that she might be using the lack of touch/compliments as a distraction to avoid looking too closely at deeper issues. Maybe the relationship has run its course and she’s reaching for a reason for it’s demise? Something she can point to that makes it “not her fault”?

  11. 11
    helene

    I think sometimes people try hard for a number of years to accept changes in their partner, but they don’t always succeed. She has been TRYING to accept that he shows his love in a different way, but is unable to make peace with this despite her best efforts. Its amazing how quickly 8 years can go by. It is amazing, also, how long some people can keep going whilst they still have  hope that things could improve. The fact that he wasn’t like this when they first met has given her hope, but the hope is beginning to fade…

    1. 11.1
      Selena

      Thinking about the letter this morning reminded me of a former partner from years back. He always complimented me on my cooking; occasionally my intelligence, but never on my appearance. I remembered this bothered me a bit at one time though I never said anything to him about it.  Sometimes though, when we were going out and I had taken extra care with my hair/makeup/clothes and felt I looked great, I would come into the livingroom, he would say:”Are you ready?” I would reply, “Yes, and this is where you tell me I look great.” He would look at me and smile and say: “You look great baby.”

      I came to realize his lack of complimenting my appearance had no other reason beyond it didn’t occur to him to do so. (Without prompting lol!) Not something that made him a bad boyfriend.

      In this same relationship I was the one who initiated physical affection and sex almost always. He lovingly participated, he just seldom took the initiative himself.  As I got to know him, he explained that his first wife was a bit of a cold fish. He speculated that might have been due to being molested by her brothers when she was in early adolescence.

      In his second marriage, he and his wife lost their teenage son in a car accident. The wife was very angry at God, and shut down emotionally to some extent. The last years of their marriage were sexless by her choice. Every time he tried to initiate, she rejected him. Eventually he stopped trying and started sleeping in another room.

      When he got involved with me he was 53 and had 25 years of combined marriage experience with women who may have unwittingly trained him to be reticent when it came to initiating physical contact.  Fortunately for us both, I didn’t mind being the initiator, and perhaps knowing these things about his history made me more understanding. I wondered about his lack of initiating at first, but as we grew closer I stopped thinking about it. It didn’t matter.

      So I suppose my own experience is making me wonder why Kate is so upset with her man 8 years on.  Has her resentment really been festering all along? Or  has something more recent happened that is bringing all this to head? That might be worth exploring before dumping him.

  12. 12
    Kate

    In my experience, men are really good at hiding who they really are for about 8 months. After that, you will start to see examples of ‘true’ behavior – and I’ll usually let a few ‘episodes’ go by without too much comment, chalked up to the ‘bad day’ situation.  Then, it escalates. They no longer feel the need to hide it behind a kind and loving demeanor. Hence, I usually walk away at about the 18 month mark.

    It annoys me when love advice guru’s tell me I’m picking the wrong men. I get that, obviously, but again, in my experience, there is absolutely no way to tell until you’ve wasted a good year or more with the guy.

    1. 12.1
      Karl S

      My girlfriend bemoans the fact that I managed to keep all my dad jokes at bay until about 6 months into the relationship. 😛

    2. 12.2
      Sum Guy

      Hi Kate, I’d say it applies to women as well but they can do it about a year; better social skills I guess.   That’s always the issue isn’t it, are you seeing the core person or the fair weather infatuated version.   I think half of this site is all about that, recognizing true red flags but also realizing that some “red flags” are a reasonable response from another point of view.

    3. 12.3
      Bob

      Very judgmental, Kate

      So what are you doing in these relationships, Kate?

      Deluding yourself?

      Letting yourself be deceived?

      Assuming victimhood?

    4. 12.4
      DeeGee

      Kate said “In my experience, men are really good at hiding who they really are for about 8 months.

      My ex-wife was able to hide her real self for the entire two years that we dated.
      Unfortunately for me, she decided to let her real self out the night of our marriage.
      I confronted her within the first week of our marriage about her changes, and her reply to me was, and I quote: “I acted that way otherwise you would not have married me”.  That was a real kick to the groin.
      Deception of this magnitude is in my opinion unforgivable.
      I was a simp during what remained of my marriage though, hanging on to what I now classify as outdated duties and responsibilities of the marriage constitution.
      I stayed in the marriage for a grueling nine years before I had to finally throw in the towel.  I tried for the entire nine years to get my ex to go to marriage counseling, which she refused.  After we separated, she finally agreed to, but it was too late.  That said, even the marriage counselor asked me why I stayed so long, that any other man would have left her long ago.
      I have since then not stayed in toxic relationships.  If I don’t feel that I am being treated well or fair, the relationship is over.

  13. 13
    Kate

    … one more thing, the ‘tend and befriend’ is definitely more of a female response, but men are not relegated to fight, flight or freeze. The military training for captured POWs explicitly teaches ‘tend and befriend’ as a survival technique.

    1. 13.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Kate

      It is not that men cannot tend-and-befriend.  It is that men do not achieve the same hormonal response.  Men respond to stressors differently than women, especially danger (at its core, tend-and-befriend is a female response to danger).  The gene that causes the difference in stress response is located on the Y chromosome.  It is the SRY gene.   The difference in stress response is at the heart of alphaness.

      http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/PressRelease/pressReleaseId-102717.html

       

  14. 14
    Bob

    8 YEARS AND NOT MARRIED??? WHAT??
    If he was attracted to her, this wouldn’t be a problem
    Is she even attractive? For all we know, she’s not
    How has she reacted to his past advancements? If she’s been fussy about them, then he’s probably learned to keep his hands to himself so she won’t fuss
    Why is she so passive? Is she just too weak and fussy to try to initiate affection, eg hug him? Does she fail to initiate affection due to fear of rejection, so she wants him to risk rejection?
    This is a reminder that a woman wants a man to do all the initiating, regardless of what she does in response, eg usually decline, reject, fuss, etc
    Gender relations will never be equal when woman don’t want equality of initiation
    *Pouting* “But I want hiiimmmmmm to do iiiitttttt”

    1. 14.1
      Clare

      Au contraire, Bob. I think if you asked most women, they would be only too happy to do the initiating. It is quite a relief to be able to ask out the person that you like, or go in for hugs or sex when you feel like it, rather than waiting for someone to come to you.

       

      The trouble is, doing so (more than a small amount) has usually never worked out well for most women. I have had numerous guy friends tell me that they like a woman to show her interest, but they do not like to be pursued, and that there is a fine line between those two. My own experimentation with initiating has backed this up. I cannot even count the number of places I have read it where it has said that men want to be the pursuer, the initiator, that they get pleasure from the thrill of winning a woman over. In a relationship, this instinct slows down, but you cannot upset the balance, otherwise you have a man who feels smothered. Ask any woman how doing lots of initiating with a man has worked out for her.

       

      Men and woman are equal, but we are not the same.

      1. 14.1.1
        Bob

        Au contraire, Bob. I think if you asked most women, they would be only too happy to do the initiating. It is quite a relief to be able to ask out the person that you like, or go in for hugs or sex when youfeel like it, rather than waiting for someone to come to you.

        This is all talk, though.

        There’s what people say they would do and what they actually do.

        It’s the latter that matters and men know that.

        The trouble is, doing so (more than a small amount) has usually never worked out well for most women. I have had numerous guy friends tell me that they like a woman to show her interest, but they do not like to be pursued, and that there is a fine line between those two. My own experimentation with initiating has backed this up. I cannot even count the number of places I have read it where it has said that men want to be the pursuer, the initiator, that they get pleasure from the thrill of winning a woman over. In a relationship, this instinct slows down, but you cannot upset the balance, otherwise you have a man who feels smothered. Ask any woman how doing lots of initiating with a man has worked out for her.

        How does any of this pass for scientific or empirical knowledge?

        I use such terminology because you are relying on the authority of both but you cite only what you have heard, experienced, and read, and, of course, most authoritative of all, what you and your girlfriends agree upon.

        Do the words “expectation” or “bias” mean anything in your so-called experiments?

        Men and woman are equal, but we are not the same.

        That’s politically correct, I’ll give you that.

        When it comes to expectation of initiation, however, there is no equality. This is because a man who does nothing gets nothing and a woman who does nothing either (1) gets what she wants given to her by a man or (2) complains that she didn’t get what she wanted and blames men.

        As for the man who does nothing and gets nothing, he has no one but himself to blame.

        That’s how equality works, which is why ‘equality’ is meaningless in the realm of dating and courtship.

      2. 14.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Clare

        I have had numerous guy friends tell me that they like a woman to show her interest, but they do not like to be pursued, and that there is a fine line between those two.

        Contrary to what you have said, guys do mind being pursued.  The problem arises when a man does not desire or only weakly desires the woman doing the pursuing.  This situation is no different than that of a woman.  A woman blows a man off if she is not interested.  Guys have to be more subtle about it.  If a guy disengages when a woman pursues him, he is not interested or he is only interested in sex.  It is that simple.

        1. N

          I gotta say based on my current experience that yes, a man like a woman to show interest if he is into her… Recently, I met a man on Tinder. He’s very attractive, fit, smart, an ER physician, so I figure he has a lot of options out there and is chatting/texting multiple women at a time. So I gave him a meh attitude.  That said, I remain friendly, warm, sarcastic and funny (according  to him) but really I didn’t make an effort to pursue nor make him feel I am interested in anything more than hanging out.

          After 6 weeks (we had 6 coffee/froyo, spinning, running dates) he finally asked me, “Look, I need to know if your are interested in dating me because I am very interested in dating you, but you don’t seem to be attracted to me nor interested in dating me..” My reply, “well, first of, I was under the impression you are interested in text and coffee buddy since you have not called me once nor asked me on a dinner date…” long convo ensued..  with me telling him my expectations.

          Long story short, he calls everyday, he’s making time from his busy crazy ER schedule to take  me out on dinner dates. So yes, men like women they are into to show interest.

        2. DeeGee

          N said: “… a man like[s] a woman to show interest if he is into her …

          I have to agree with everything you wrote.
          I am currently in a situation like that with a woman I met a number of weeks ago on a dating site.
          On the dating site she has “looking for friends (not dating or relationships)”.
          In conversations on our “dates” she has told me that she sees me as a high value man, she gives me many compliments, and she has even said that her future plans include marriage.  She also initiates half of the texting and date scheduling.
          However, after a good month+ of chatting, texting, and multiple dates, she tends to keep me physically at arm’s length (I mean even from holding hands), and has bailed when the conversation gets to “would you like to go to my place [or your place] after dinner for TV/movie/coffee/drinks/whatever?”.
          If she thinks that “being just friends first for the first x-number of months” or taking it slow (as a glacier melting) will eventually get to something or somewhere serious, well, she has completely lost me on that now.

  15. 15
    Clare

    “How does any of this pass for scientific or empirical knowledge?
    I use such terminology because you are relying on the authority of both but you cite only what you have heard, experienced, and read, and, of course, most authoritative of all, what you and your girlfriends agree upon.
    Do the words “expectation” or “bias” mean anything in your so-called experiments?”

    Your brusque, aggressive tone aside, where is the scientific or empirical knowledge in anything you have said?

    1. 15.1
      Yet Another Guy

      The only reason why a man pursues a woman is that he wants to conquer her as a sexual partner.  It is the primal instinct that drives men to couple with women.  What happens after he accomplishes that goal depends on how he feels about the situation.  Why do you think Evan tells women that they should wait for a commitment before having sex?  A woman who has a higher SMV, is really good in bed, or has some other unique attribute stands a chance of holding a man’s attention long enough after doing the deed that he may fall for her; however, the only way that the average woman stands a chance of securing a relationship is to get inside of a man’s head before she has sex with him.

      By the way, making a man wait serves two purposes. It eliminates the guys with whom a woman does not stand a chance in Hades landing (some women foolishly believe that they can land these men), and it demonstrates higher value to men who may want something more than a roll in the hay.   A woman who does not sleep with every man she dates is more desirable to most men.  That view may appear to be a double standard, but men have their quirks as well.

       

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