How Much Time You Should Give a Guy to Commit Before You Quit

I received this email the other day from a woman who read Why He Disappeared.

I found it frustrating – but really, I was feeling frustration on HER behalf. This woman is tearing her hair out because she doesn’t know how to apply my advice. And her frustration is what spurred me to write today’s post.

I think your advice is contradictory. You imply that you should get rid of the guys that don’t call regularly and make it obvious that they want to date and pursue a relationship and yet in the book you mention that you didn’t take your wife on a proper date for the first 4 weeks and how great she was that when you did call she was nice and said yes to whatever you proposed doing…and you ended up married….which is why women put up with flaky guys and “bad behavior”, holding out hope that it will change and turn into something serious. Like your relationship.

So which is it? Are you always nice when they call and say “yes” to the date? Or do you move on to the next guy because this one isn’t making much of an effort? For some people the 4 weeks turns into 4 months without them noticing and by then they’re in that pattern…and the behavior becomes acceptable yet unfulfilling and it’s too late to change it because you’ve been the “nice”, undemanding girl the whole time.

Tanya

My first inclination was to defend myself.

After all, I understand what I’m talking about!

But if Tanya is finding this grey area to be a bit too grey, then I have to acknowledge that perhaps I can do a better job of explaining it.

So let’s take a real-life example, shall we?

You don’t win this war by waiting him out and hoping he falls for you after four months or six months or one year of casual sex.

Janie is a private client who signed up for my 8-week Passion Course.

I like Janie a lot. She’s the type of client I’d be friends with in real life. Positive attitude. Good sense of humor. Understands men and lets them be themselves.

Which is why I wasn’t at all surprised when she met a man only two weeks into our coaching sessions.

What DID surprise me is that, after the initial chemistry rush, Janie settled into a low-intensity pseudo-relationship that didn’t leave her at all satisfied.

Like Tanya – and my wife – she was trying to be the cool girl, but she took it too far.

She needed me to set her straight and show her what her guy was actually thinking.

So why does a man only call or text you once a week to make plans?

Why is a man perfectly content only seeing you once every two weeks?

Why is a man not clamoring to reserve his weekends for you, or take you on a short vacation, or meet your friends and family?

The answer is simple:

He doesn’t want to!

If a man texts you once a week…

If he doesn’t make time to see you regularly…

If he expresses no interest in escalating the intensity of the relationship…

That’s EXACTLY the relationship that HE wants!

Low-intensity. Low-pressure. Low commitment. Low drama.

He wins. You lose.

He’s content. You’re not.

You don’t win this war by waiting him out and hoping he falls for you after four months or six months or one year of casual sex.

You win this one by assessing his efforts and concluding that you’re wasting your time.

There’s a huge difference between giving a guy six weeks to choose you over the other women he’s dating… and to be a sucker for hanging around when you’re merely (and clearly) his “once a week” girl.

Application of this made-up “rule” is surprisingly simple.

When you start dating, Don’t Do Anything. He calls, he texts, he emails – you just “mirror” his efforts and give him enthusiasm and warmth every time.

If he doesn’t follow through fast enough or often enough, make a mental note: “Hmm… this probably means that he’s a) dating other people and isn’t sure whether I’m “the one” OR b) he’s just not that into me and using me for now.”

This doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. This means he’s a regular guy.

This is how we work.

I may have casually seen my wife for the first 4 weeks of our relationship, but I would always email the next day to say I had fun. I was the one who was making the effort to see her more. She didn’t have to do anything except say yes and not judge me while I worked it all out in my head.

There’s a huge difference between giving a guy six weeks to choose you over the other women he’s dating… and to be a sucker for hanging around when you’re merely (and clearly) his “once a week” girl.

So don’t worry about how much you like him, how strong your feelings are, or anything like that.

Just evaluate your man on the effort he’s making for you.

You’ve had boyfriends before, right?

How did they act? Did they “see you” once a week for six months and suddenly declare their love?

NO!!!

Potential boyfriends act like potential boyfriends.

So give a guy 6-8 weeks to figure out his feelings, if necessary. And if you don’t get the sense that the relationship is growing, the talk is brief and emotionless:

“Hey Adam, it’s been fun getting to know you, but I get the sense that we’re not on the same page. I need a man who is looking for a relationship and you don’t seem to be that guy. No hard feelings, but I’m going to go find that guy. Best of luck in your search. Take care of yourself.”

You’re free. And, yes, it’s that simple.

If he values you, he’ll fight for you.

But chances are he’ll know that you’re right. He’ll know he was using you. He’ll know that his string of good luck has come to an end. And he’ll let you go quite easily.

When the relationship is growing – like it was for me in 2007 – you may just have a moment like this:

One night, when we were eating Chinese food and watching TV, I turned to my future-bride-to-be and said, “I think you’re my girlfriend.”

She said, with a coy smile, “I think I am.”

It was that simple.

I wanted to lock her in. I let her know.

The right guy always does.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Maggie

    It’s interesting.  I have this exact kind of relationship.  The rub here is that I’m in my young sixties.  he is about 7 years younger.  We’ve both been married before.  He was stung pretty badly, so is cautious, maybe overly so.  I don’t think there are other women.  I’m pretty sure he is not that kind of a man. He’s just keeping his distance.  However, I have already made up my mind that I’m just going to go with this relationship the way it is.  He’s very sweet.  He’s a gentleman.  We cook together, we go to the beach and take walks together. He’s adorable.  He seems to like me a lot.  We have a relationship exactly like the one described by someone else on this thread. A part time relationship.  (Once in a while it will be a week night too). Before I met this man I had already decided that the man I was seeing before him (non romantic but trying to like him) was the last time I’d get involved with anyone.  I’d had my heart broken devastatingly three times in my lifetime. And I was tired of meeting men on line who ended up being complete jerks or the same age as me and acted like they were 90 years old.  So I was finished.  Well, someone asked me to meet this guy and I agreed.  I like him a lot.  I think he likes me a lot.  BUT – I’m not sure I’m his “girlfriend”.  He holds back a lot – not many verbal compliments,  etc. etc.  We have great sex and really enjoy  the time that we do see other.  Usually only weekends.  I am not going to break up with him even though I want more out of the relationship because I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time.  If/when this relationship is over, I’m not moving on to someone else anyway, so I’m in no hurry.  I hope it lasts, and I may have to have the “am I your girlfriend?” talk some day, but I’m no hurry, with nowhere to rush to.  It is sad though.  As much as I like him it feels a little unfulfilling without the emotional intimacy that we lack.  I’ve tried and I think he’s too gun shy.  So I’ll just enjoy him as much as I can and until I can’t anymore.

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