How Long Do I Wait For A Man Before I’m Wasting My Time?

I’m 30 years old, divorced with no kids, smart, pretty not only on the outside but on the inside too (so people tell me,) very family oriented and have great values. I’ve followed your advice from A to Z and GOD HAVE THEY HELPED!!!! But now I’m extremely puzzled and need your advice. Less than a month ago, I started dating a guy who, according to my mother, I shouldn’t even be dating because he’s “way too good looking” and “guys like that” don’t like to be in steady relationships.

Anyway, I try to think about what you’ve said about your wife, how at the beginning she wasn’t the type of girl you were used to dating… And I’ve followed every step you talk about when it comes to her, “to be cool, calm, and collected…”

From day one, this guy and I had a great chemistry, in the sense that we truly enjoy each other’s company. He is the one that calls me (even if I’m like dying to call, I wait for his call,) he is the one that talks about seeing each other and so on… (No sex yet, as I want to get to know him a little better.) Well, last night he told me that he’s starting to genuinely like me, and that concerned him, because as perfect as that is, it’s not a good idea…. (As far as I know, I’m the only person he’s dating.) He told me that it wasn’t supposed to happen that way nor was he supposed to feel so comfortable around me!

So my question to you, Evan: Is this normal? Or is this a red flag? I really like this guy and don’t want to mess things up!  So I just smiled and avoided getting too deep in the subject as I noticed he was a bit stressed over it. I remember what you said about your wife, that she never asked where you guys were headed… I know you are super busy, but I’ve come such a long way, and I’m so proud of myself with all the changes I’ve made since I started reading your newsletters, that I don’t want to do or say the wrong thing here. What does it mean when he said that? Thank you soooo much and may God bless you, your wife and your beautiful baby that’s about to come!!!! —Mari

Dear Mari,

Thank you for your very kind words. I’m genuinely thrilled that you’re seeing positive changes in your love life since you started reading. And I chose your letter out of the hundreds of emails I get each month because I find it infinitely more challenging to take on a situation that is not at all black and white.

In fact, I’m guessing every one reading this has been in the exact same position as you, with the same exact question:

“How long do I invest in a man before I panic that I’m wasting my time?”

Believe the Negatives. Ignore the Positives,

And try though I might, this isn’t something that can easily be reduced to a simple science, because each individual man has his own unique set of issues.

What I will remind you is of the newsletter that I wrote less than six months ago, which proclaimed, “Believe the Negatives. Ignore the Positives.”

What I meant by that is that millions of women have willingly entered into passionate affairs based on their feelings alone – the breathless waiting for his call, the physical need to touch him, the giddiness he inspires when you’re together, etc – all the while, conveniently ignoring the fact that he said at the very beginning, “I’m not looking for a relationship right now.”

So he feels like he’s off the hook because he told you the truth at the outset, you forget that he doesn’t want to be anybody’s boyfriend because of how you feel when you’re together, and one day, when you start to wonder where things are going, he reminds you of that conversation you had in your first week where he laid down the law.

…you forget that he doesn’t want to be anybody’s boyfriend because of how you feel when you’re together.

Every woman who proceeds to date a guy who “isn’t looking for anything serious” is essentially driving over the orange cones and through the yellow tape that signify danger, and wondering why she always gets into an accident.

You ignored the warning signs, such as “I don’t want a girlfriend.” What did you expect?

This isn’t a matter of defending guys who date you even when they’re emotionally unavailable. This is merely pointing out that it happens ALL the time.

You’re Ms. Right Now, you want to be Ms. Right, but he’s not currently taking applications for that position.

Then why does he act so open? Why does he call me? Why does he treat me so well? Why does he hint at a future?

There are a couple of very reasonable answers to this question, but the primary ones are:

1)    It’s in his best interests to treat you well. What possible purpose would it serve for him to be rude to you? Do you think that’s a proper way to treat somebody? Of course not. So he calls you (because he wants to see you), he sleeps with you (because he’s attracted to you), and he talks about falling in love one day (because he wants to fall in love one day.) It’s completely possible to do ALL of these things and still not want to have a serious committed relationship right this second. And that’s what you’re seeing over and over.

2)    He doesn’t KNOW what he wants. You should understand this, because half the time, YOU don’t know what you want either! Do you want the exciting guy who leave you breathless? The safe guy who treats you like gold and always lets you know where you stand? Do you want wild, unattached sex? Or to date around to explore your options while you focus on yourself and your career? Confusion and ambivalence are human traits, not just male ones. He may very well feel that he’s not ready for love right now…and still legitimately be falling in love with you.

So what do you do, Mari?

You take it all in. You don’t make any rash decisions. You let him reveal himself in his actions and not just his words. You continue to be the woman that no man can leave.

And you pay attention to the signs that he’s not ready – his anxiety, where he’s at in his career, how old he is, whether his friends are happily married, what he wants in the long run. If you see too many red flags, you get out.

But if you’re happy and he’s happy, he may just be adjusting to his new reality – that he IS ready for love…with YOU. Give him a chance before you bail on him. The only way it can happen is if you let it happen, not if you pull the plug.

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  1. 31

    Am passing through the same situation. I was introduced to a man farriage , I think we have a good chemistry and we share a lot of believes and back ground.  But when I asked him after talking for 2 months. Where are we going ? He told me that he is in agreat area while Iam sure that I like him and am ready to take the risk for trying a formal framed relation. Am confused. He is a good person and I like him. Shall I leave him or shall I keep it cold as am not callingong or texting him. I only answer him 

  2. 32

    Definetly do NOT sleep with him and just enjoy the time u spend together.

    Go slow

    Steady pace wins the race

  3. 33

    Sounds like a total player! I hope you dumped his ass.. And girl, no matter how many books you read or rules you follow, there are still going to be those guys who are only after sex and they don’t care how great you are or what hoops you make them jump through.

  4. 34

    He’s playing a mind game with you by saying that to you.  That oh you made him feel something that he wasn’t supposed to feel give me a break.  Let’s be real I’m not bitter, but face it what’s he supposed to feel ? So he’s saying he never wanted to feel that way for you but your beauty inside and out overpowered him and now he’s having these feelings that he can’t explain!! Yea ok Romeo.  Please don’t get naked for this man.  I would love for him to explain wth that means!  He’s good looking right and I’m sure you’re gorgeous too, I have guy friends that are models believe me he knows how to get a girl in bed he actually has a couple in different states.  And I can’t say u don’t think there’s anyone else, you’re not with him 24 hours a day.  Believe me I thought I was the only one a lot of times, nope.  I’m not being mean I just don’t want to see you getting hurt.  There were many nights I cried at this point I’ve heard it all.  Good luck.  I’d listen if that he said he’s not looking for a relationship you’re not going to get one.  I’ve been there,  I’m guilty of it we all think we are going to be the one he will choose we are different than other girls.  They don’t care

  5. 35

    What a great article. Thank you. It’s been going on three weeks that I had told a guy (with whom I really had believed to have a future) how I felt about him. He had politely told me- basically it’s not me, it’s him; but, he had sugar coated it so elegantly, I had bought it: hook, line, and sinker. He had told me he had had so much fun, and he had not wanted the night to end. That I am beautiful and basically any guy would be crazy not to be with me. He told me that he needed more time- to which I had answered, “Take all the time you need; I know what I want, and if if takes my whole life to find it, so be it.” Initially, I believe I had meant him- and I believe he had thought this as well. At the time, I had. He had been  everything for which I had been looking with one major exception: he doesn’t want to make this work. He lacks the courage, the strength, the longing to get out of himself (and let go of everyone feeling sorry for him), and be in a healthy, happy, fulfilling relationship. Looking at the facts- minus the feelings- is not easy; but the facts do not lie. I am done making excuses for him or any other guy. I deserve a man in my life who will step it up- who will make time for me- who will value me. It comes down to who and what is worth it in a person’s life. Deep down I want to believe he knows I’m worth it, but I don’t know that. All I can do is continue to look at the facts.

    I started praying for the man God will send into my life. And, I will wait on God and only God. He will pick someone for me, and it will be a man who will make me realize why all these guys never worked out.


    1. 35.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      If you were looking at the facts, you would not be depending upon God to play matchmaker for you. Try giving me your email and maybe I can give God a nudge.

    2. 35.2

      I agree! You can’t go wrong with God!!

    3. 35.3

      Right! Evans is right. We all pray to our dear Lord GOD for the right man that will swept our feet. If only, we DO something about it? If we are always “me” then how can we find a man? You have to take the men’s perspective, too. Taking them into consideration can help you understand them.

  6. 36

    Less than a month? That’s your problem.

    These days people really want to get to know everything about someone before comitting to them in a relationship. It’s more common to be dating someone for 6months – a year before even being “in a relationship”

    my personal opinion is that you’re thinking too much into it too soon and you should just sit back and enjoy getting to know him. Let the feelings happen on their own and stop worrying about the future. His true colours will show if you be patient and let it happen

  7. 37

    This is a great article thank you for explaining so clearly some common processes in the young male mind. You did a fine job! At least as I see it, there are a large number of guys that don’t know what they’re doing. Yet, men are usually the ones expected to lead, to fight, to protect, to be the rock or strong craig in a relationship, to always somehow magically know what they want and have an intense enough drive to achieve said goal. The truth is though they rarely come out of the shoot just perfect. The truth is everyone is different and many men (including myself) have, at various times, lacked any clue of what direction to take or who to be with or even marry someday. In my case, it doesn’t mean being a flirt or cheater either, I have always been faithful and yet, I would bet that some of my exes still don’t have any understanding of how I felt the majority of the relationship; hence the term exes. In fact, many times it seems that a “potential” girl friend can become so enamored with the idea of “us” instead of “you” and “me” that she can forget about how what my reservations are and try to pressure me into things that I don’t want to do, if you are an actual gentleman this is the pits! Of course, I’m going to be polite, that how I was raised. But sometimes people won’t take no for an answer. It’s simple, think about it in very simple terms, you don’t know what you want and usually you don’t want to marry the very first person that shows interest in you. How could you? Marriage is a big step and divorce can often favor the wife over the husband. However, the whole process of dating is rough. I firmly believe though that it is best to be as logical as possible; remember if you would prefer to explore at some point in your life then more than likely he will too, try not to be too rash. Always listen to the negatives, usually they are more honest than the positive things someone says, at least they tend to be in the beginning of a potential relationship. Inevitably, everyone wants to get to that point where they can claim a marriage mate. But as long as you are happy living a single life and with yourself BEFORE getting into a relationship, if you also follow basic common courtesy and have honorable intentions you will find someone.

  8. 38

    I think he’s playing with you,  I was flirting with a man at work because we had common interests and we both had people at home that drink and I was working towards divorce and he said he would call and date after I divorce and get my place and I moved and filed divorce and then he didn’t call until I said I was done with him and then he didn’t call on the fourth of July or even invite me over and I realized that I was better off with my husband. This guy kept making excuses and was Inconsistent with texting and actions. I think he’s gay. Has a guy living with him

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