I’m Exclusive with a Woman Who Won’t Let Me Call Her My Girlfriend

Dear Evan, I really need your help. Here’s the deal. I’ve been dating this girl now for 2 and a half months. We were good friends for 5 months before one-night things changed and we ended up having sex. I’ve known her all my life, since her parents and mine have been friends for over 30 years. She lives in NYC but is moving home to Buffalo to go to law school this July, and I’m here at medical school in Buffalo.

She tells me she wants to take it slow. She says she feels like she’s in more of a relationship with me then she’s felt in her past relationships, which she considered to be actual relationships. She also is not the best communicator of her feelings when it comes to how she personally feels. She told me that she’s talked to me more about how she personally feels then all her other relationships combined; I’m not sure if I should be happy about that or not. I told her I have no problem taking it slow. We are sexually exclusive with each other, but she gets upset sometimes when I do really nice things for her. She says that me taking her to expensive dinners and stuff of that nature is moving too fast and that I do too many nice things. She feels that if she does not reciprocate, then it makes her feel like the bad guy or some such nonsense. But I am just naturally a romantic person and I like to do that stuff!

So I have been trying to not call her as much, and some days I just ignore her and do my own thing. But I feel by trying not to call as much and not be as romantic as I want to be I am playing some silly game with her. I don’t see what is so wrong with a boyfriend who wants to make his woman happy all the time, it’s not like I’m asking for anything in return. Oh and that brings me to another point: I dare not refer to her as “my girlfriend” I guess because that sounds very relationship, and she is not ready for that. So I guess I’m trying to ask what do I do? Do I take it slow like she says and really back off? Since we slept together we’ve only been together on nine dates. I wish I knew how she really felt. I mean her actions tell me that she is really into me but I’m just not super sure. I come from a family where we tell each other how we feel all the time and she comes from one where stuff is just assumed. Ugggh. What should I do? Am I just over thinking all this stuff? Please help!!!! :( Daniel

Congratulations, Daniel. You’re the woman in the relationship.

Congratulations, Daniel. You’re the woman in the relationship.

And I say that with a wink and a nod, because it’s not an insult; it’s just an archetype. After all, how many letters have you read here from women who could have said the same thing, verbatim?

“He wants to take it slow.”

“He is not the best communicator of his feelings.”

“By trying not to call as much and not be as romantic as I want to be, I feel I’m playing a silly game with him.”

“I dare not refer to him as my boyfriend; he is not ready for that.”

“His actions tell me that he’s really into me, but I’m just not sure.”

So yes, Daniel, your letter seems like it could have been ripped out of the pages of Glamour or Cosmo, but that’s a good thing. It shows us that emotions and feelings and commitment are not exclusively female territory…. And hey, believe me, you’re not alone. I’m as much of a female-type communicator as you’re going to find. That’s why I’m a dating coach, and that’s why 75% of my readers are women. Which is why I want you to put your male hat on when answering your own question. If you were giving advice to a trusted girl friend about a guy who was not committing to her, what would you say? Well, you may say something cliched like “He’s just not that into you” And you may be right. But that wouldn’t be enough to satisfy your girl friend. She’s the one who’s feeling the connection. She’s the one who wants to believe this is workable. She knows how he truly feels. Well, sort of…

You’re hung up on a woman who is doing everything in her power NOT to make you feel special.

And that’s where you are, right now, Daniel. Too emotionally engaged in your own relationship to see it objectively. So what you’re doing is using all available evidence to support your ideas. You’re justifying her lack of commitment by saying that she says she feels like she’s in a relationship with you. But you’re ignoring that she won’t let you call her “girlfriend.”

You’re saying that you have no problem taking it slow. But you’re ignoring that you DO have a problem because she’s not making you feel safe and secure.

You’re trying to be a giver because that’s how you feel about her. But you’re ignoring that your girlfriend should WANT to get nice things from you AND give back as well.

Listen, I don’t know you and I don’t know this woman. But it’s glaringly clear that she’s got some serious intimacy issues, issues which you don’t share with her. You seem kind, well-adjusted, and you come from a close family. In other words, you’re a catch. Any woman reading this would love to be with a man like you. But that doesn’t matter. You’re hung up on a woman who is doing everything in her power NOT to make you feel special. Is that what you want? Is that what you deserve? – Cause that’s what you get when you wait for her to come around.

I wouldn’t give up on her yet, Daniel. Certainly, things can change when you’re in the same city. But if she’s not your girlfriend, and there’s no real commitment, I would highly consider dating some other people right now. You may just find that this amazing lawyer woman is not the best catch for you after all.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Katarina Phang

    OP is a typical nice guy and she’s just not that into him (maybe has intimacy issues as well, but we don’t know if she’s like that with every guy she really likes).  The roles are really reversed.  He’s the she, and she’s the he.  That’s probably why she’s not that into him.

    Move on. He probably needs an alpha female who is attracted to a beta male she can control.  Problem is many alpha females want very masculine guys themselves.  A woman who is more like him (moderate alpha/beta) is probably best.  So both can be flexible in what roles to take and when.

  2. 32
    Marc

    I have a girlfriend who hasn’t even called me her boyfriend”yet” but is always around me. She barely tells me how she feels although she did in the beginning. I say I miss her way before she even gets to say it. I do admit that although I am feeling like the female, she lets me take the lead when we go out because she tells me as long as she’s with me it doesn’t matter what we do. I don’t think she’s not into me, but she did get out of a ten month relationship six months ago. I had asked a question regarding our being exclusive and she said she liked me but didn’t want to move too fast. We haven’t had sex, becuase I want the title boy friend before we get too intimate. so she better be patient. I had asked her if she was my girl and she was like “what do you think” …she won’t give me a straight answer, so I’m thinking it’s assumed we are, but then she was talking to one of her girlfriends and she told her about her “friend” when speaking about me. MY GOD that was so annoying. Took all my might to keep a straight face. She doesn’t put an emphasis on our going to fast..so I would say she’s into me. but as for Daniel, I would have to wonder why she keeps insisting that you not call her your girlfriend. Maybe she takes longer to consider that title. Everybody’s different and who knows how her exes treated her.

    All I know is I just want this “trial period” to end already, and yes I’ve been dating her for two and half months. :D

  3. 33
    Commiserator

    I just want to say I’m in the same boat as Daniel and I’ve moved on from her, on the advice of friends.

    My girl was nice enough to tell me to take a step back. Like Daniel I didn’t listen. I wasn’t objective.

    Yes I’m a student, and I’ll take it slow with the gifts next time round. Mine aren’t expensive but they’re hand-made/-drawn and it’s obvious I put effort into them.

    I’m a nice guy and I’m not inclined towards the “nice guys finish last” line of argument. I’m just waiting for the right girl to come along who’ll reciprocate my feelings. 

    I still think of her and wonder if I’ve hurt her. But it’s just me wishing I mattered to her.

    Evan’s response, and everyone’s comments, really helped.

    Thanks. 

  4. 34
    Widowed

    I am curious if she has another boyfriend in Buffalo or if she has another boyfriend in her town while she is away?

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