What Do You Do When a Guy Dumps You and Then Comes Back?

What Do You Do When a Guy Dumps You and Then Comes Back

Right as I discovered you, I’d starting dating a man. He asked me out on the next date during our dates. He kept in contact regularly between dates, mainly calling because he knew I preferred it — WITHOUT me having to even tell him this! — and texting during the workday to keep in touch. Our dates were well-planned, picked based on things he thought I’d liked, and fun. This man was not like any other guy I’d dated, much nerdier and a little weird but also relaxed and confident without being a jerk. I was able to relax and be myself from the outset with him, something that is entirely new for me.

Based on the things I was learning from your books “Finding the One Online,” “Why He Disappeared” and “Believe in Love,” dating this man was like rapid training on the fly. I led him around the bases slowly (he responded so well to the no-sex til exclusivity chat), was easygoing and appreciative of everything he did for me, and generally felt like the cool girl I am in everyday life.

I admit it, my emotional investment in him grew before we got to exclusivity. Although I read your posts about how I should give a man 6-8 weeks to claim me, because we both had work trips that interrupted our flow, I gave him nearly 4 months to choose me. And as the other men I was dating fell off, I found myself less interested in finding other men to replace them, as this front-runner guy was making all the right moves. It was probably a mistake on my part not to continue seeking out other men, since I was not yet exclusive with this man.

And perhaps predictably, things started going downhill with him. First, the contact from him slowed down. A couple days between calls, then no calls for almost a week between our dates. He asked me why I wasn’t contacting him first, and I politely stood my ground that before exclusivity I wasn’t ready to initiate with him, and that I appreciated all of his efforts. Then, he canceled a date. He did it in a responsible way, calling the day before and apologizing. I was about to leave on a work trip so we loosely planned to reschedule when I returned. Slowly I was feeling less safe with him, and I was starting to feel insecurities rise up in me.

A couple of days later, he called and we had a relatively painless breakup. He said that while he thought I was amazing and awesome, he ultimately wanted something different. We both expressed disappointment and surprise that things didn’t work out better between us. And while that was hard to hear, I respected his opinion and appreciated the way he conducted himself. I see a few mistakes I made, things I am still learning. In reading your stuff I see that I stayed too long and that I got too emotionally invested in this one man before he stepped up to claim me. Yet, I have no regrets. It was one of the healthiest and easy relationships I’ve ever created with a man, I chose well in him even if things didn’t work out, and it made me feel inspired and hopeful for the future.

Though I was sad and feeling rejected, I knew that I’d put my best foot forward and the only place to go from here was up. Within 24 hours I was back online on the dating sites, making plans to go out places where I knew there’d be men, and generally trying to move on. Your books were immensely helpful here, helping me stay in a positive mindset even as I simultaneously nursed my hurt. Although I didn’t completely forget about this man, I trusted that he was telling me the truth that I wasn’t what he wanted. I’ve gone out with several men since and feel open to their attention. He’s still on my mind every so often, but I’m not using him as a crutch to keep me from letting other men in.

So you can imagine my surprise when, less than two weeks later, he called me to say he’d made a mistake in letting me go. We’ve set up a date for later this week and I’m curious to see how things will feel. I know what I need to say to set boundaries, but mostly I’m feeling open and intrigued by what made him change his mind. After the initial rush of joy of him returning, and the surge of hope that maybe things WILL work out, I’m back to wondering what might unfold with this man.

I know that by the time you answer this question our date will have come and gone. (Perhaps many dates!) But I am curious, in your extensive experience, do relationships work out when a guy dumps you early on and then comes back? Or might this be a case of a warning sign of trouble…

Curiouser and curiouser,
Kate

Kate,

Thanks for the compliments and thanks for providing the detail necessary to help me help you.

As you’ve already acknowledged, you’ve probably already gone out with this guy again, and drawn your own conclusions, so I’m sorry I’m a little late to the parade. Please take this for what it’s worth, after the fact.

It’s funny how easy it is to contradict my own advice, and it’s funnier how easily I can make peace with my contradictions.

I usually quote things like:

“Believe the negatives, ignore the positives.”
“It’s called a breakup because it’s broken.”
“He’s just not that into you.”

Basically, I casually observe from my perch, that if things don’t work out, there’s a reason they didn’t work out, and that’s okay. No need to try to piece Humpty Dumpty back together again when there are a million other guys out in the universe.

And, in general, that’s true. Most women would be well served to stop their wishful thinking, leave the past in the past, and move on.

If things don’t work out, there’s a reason they didn’t work out, and that’s okay. No need to try to piece Humpty Dumpty back together again when there are a million other guys out in the universe.

But there’s something about your story that makes me feel like there is still an opportunity worth exploring. Quick tangent:

I have a Masters (private coaching) client right now, who was dating a guy for about 6 weeks. When it was time for him to step up and become her boyfriend, he backed away, saying that he was having a hard time getting over his ex. To her credit, my client let the guy go with a minimum of fanfare. We prepared to get online and cast a wide net.

Two weeks later, I’m on the phone with my client. The guy came back. He had time and distance to think and he realized that he really blew it. Quote:

“Thomas called me and said he thinks I’m the total package and just wanted to clear his head so he can commit to me fully. He said he’s never felt as comfortable with someone, and feels like he can be himself with me. Finally he said he’s looking for something serious and wants to get married and have kids soon, and is ready to go to the next step with me, i.e., becoming boyfriend / girlfriend, if I’d have him. I said yes.”

So I ask you, skeptical readers who are understandably protective of another woman’s emotions, does it sound like my client made a mistake in letting this guy back in her life?

I sure don’t think so.

You can take it personally that a guy didn’t know that you were “the one” from the second he met you, but, as they say, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

He took the time to gather his thoughts. He came back, humbled. He’s been doing all the right things ever since. Does this guarantee a marriage? Of course not. Does it give my 41-year-old client great hope that she’s found a guy who likes her a lot and has the same long-term goals as she does? Absolutely.

Basically, people’s thought processes and emotions are messy. You can take it personally that a guy didn’t know that you were “the one” from the second he met you, but, as they say, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

Furthermore, allowing this guy back in your life doesn’t give him a free pass to the altar. If he starts being an unpredictable guy who disappears and communicates poorly with you, you have every right to dump him. But just because he had second thoughts does not make him a bad guy. If anything, it makes him a normal human being, who made a mistake and is now trying to rectify it.

Your script has yet to be written, Kate. Be sure and come back and let us know what happens, okay?

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Stacy

    Oh Evan, this was so timely.

    I am in kinda/sorta the same situation…after 5 weeks or so, guy tells me that while he does not want his ex back, he is not completely over her, didnt mourn the relationship, and still have feelings there. My response was, okay, that’s fine. I am here as a friend if you need me.

    I am at a point where I am just responding to his texts if he calls me. I may answer if he calls. But, I have withdrawn from him and he could have all the space he needs.  However, I was wondering if to go no contact completely because it’s still a bit umm…challenging to interact with him without the temptation of discussing where he is.  But, I have withheld on that so far.

    But I agree with you Evan. It’s not always so black and white. Emotions have so many levels and situations can have loopholes. What I do wonder though is, why be online or try to court a woman/man if you know you have unresolved emotional issues or ties to your ex or feelings for someone else? It is a bit frustrating and that is why, especially at the beginning, you have to guard your heart tremendously. At least, this is the lesson I have learned in the process.

    1. 1.1
      Lyra

      Hmm. Same thing happened with me too. Although it has only been 2 months and we have been intimate. I asked him about being exclusive before we were intimate and he said yes. He treated me well and even introduced me to his son. Then he disappeared for a while and didn’t respond to my messages. I tried calling him once and he just replied saying he needed time and he would call me soon. Which he didn’t. That threw me off guard. I guess, no matter how busy or occupied someone is, there is always time to contact the person that you care about. A single text would only take seconds. Unless we are in war zone or something like that. Well, my pride was hurt, but I realize that when feelings change nobody is to blame. It is better to let it go and move on with my life. I have seen so many discussion down here about rules not initiating contact etc, and while it is nice to consider them, it is not always textbook when it comes to relations. For me there should be a mixed of sensibility and feelings; it is not a chess game, and yet it is not a Shakespeare’s play as well.

    2. 1.2
      marisheba

      I’m sorry that happened to you, sounds stinky. As for why people date when not over an ex though, feelings just aren’t so cut-and-dry. I recently told someone I liked that I wasn’t ready to date like I thought I was – same reason, unresolved feelings for an ex. (Though I did this after just three dates – maybe this sounds like too much info so early on, but I wanted him to know I wasn’t rejecting HIM). I genuinely thought I was ready to date. Turned out I wasn’t, but I didn’t know that until I met someone I liked.

      I also think that sometimes people go on dates and meet people as a way to meet people and move on. If you’re really deep in mourning, that’s probably not fair to the people you’re dating. But if you’re on your way, just not entirely there yet, I think that’s entirely fair. And a lot of people do that just looking for something more casual and fun, but then meet someone they like, and they have a conundrum. People, even healthy self-aware people, are messy, and that’s just part of what we have to deal with when we date.

  2. 2
    ScottH

    This one’s timely for me too.  Was dating a wonderful woman for 4 months.  Several times along the way she tells me about the guy before me who won her heart and then betrayed it 1.5 years ago and that because of him, she was having a hard time letting someone new (me) into her heart.  I stayed in there hoping and being patient only to be suddenly told that she didn’t feel as deeply about me as I did about her (which, if you read the old texts and cards, is just not true) and that it wasn’t fair to me to keep me tieed to her.  So she walked away.  I don’t expect that she will contact telling me that she’d made a huge mistake.  She did tell me along the way that I did everything right (I’ve been reading Evan for a while to know what to do).  Anyway, just sharing my story here.  I agree- not much is black and white but I did love her and I don’t know what I’ll do if she does come back.

    1. 2.1
      Stacy

      Even if she did come back,would you be able to trust her with your emotions again?See, trust is a delicate thing.If ‘my’ guy came back,I am not sure I would give him that second chance.I will be wondering the entire time if he will go through another phase and decide that he hasnt gotten past his past. The only way I would be open to allowing him close to my emotions again is if a good bit of time has passed and we would start off again slowly. After all, love is not enough.I am grateful that I didn’t sleep with the guy.

      1. 2.1.1
        ScottH

        No, I wouldn’t be able to trust her.  She told me that she was inclined to cut and run bc of the guy who betrayed her and her friend was going to put lead in her shoes so she couldn’t run from me (her friends really liked me).  Glaring red flag of a commitmentphobe.  This was my second one of those and I’m not going to get sucked in again.  Go read the book He’s Scared She’s Scared.  Love yourself.  Take care of yourself.

      2. 2.1.2
        Kandi

        This is how I feel. I recently got dumped a week ago after 5 months of dating. He started getting distant and I panicked and started asking him what was wrong, became a little clingy and he ended things. Not once did he say he needed space, he just ignored my questions and then dumped me. I apologized and said that I reacted that way because I was nervous and he didn’t respond. The thing is that I miss him so much but the thought of giving him another chance seems scary. I could never trust him, EVER! He got cold on me and instead of communicating with me or making me feel secure, he dumped me. Also, the previous night we spent together talking about our weekend plans. He seemed so happy that day and then the next day…boom! Cold and detached and angry with me. He just immediately ended things. I asked myself, why would I want to be with a man who dumps me as soon as we have our first problem? Why would I want to be with a man who gets distant and shut downs and ignores me? I don’t really. So yeah, I’m sad now because I miss the companionship but he has proven to be spineless and a unreliable person for emotional support and stability. You really can’t trust that!

  3. 3
    Not Jerry

    Everyone makes mistakes.
    It’s the wisdom to know which mistakes you must live with, and which ones you don’t.

    I would never live with a mistake if I don’t have to.

    I will try to resolve it, by eating crow or whatever.  Give me a double helping if it will help.
    I hope all involved feel the same.

     

  4. 4
    jon

    Its kind weird that after 4 months, she still didn’t want to call him first or initiate phone calls.  She must have had a lot of other guys calling her.  If she is not showing the guy any attention after 4 months, then he should move on, because she didn’t seem to be interested in him.  She doesn’t want to appear needy, but if she were truly interested in him, she would have tried to call him.  If she believed in feminism, she wouldn’t be so scared to call a guy.  Most men would appreciate the equality and equal emotional investment.

    1. 4.1
      Karmic Equation

      They weren’t exclusive yet, Jon.

      A girl should NOT initiate contact until there is an exclusivity agreement.

      1. 4.1.1
        Not Jerry

        I disagree with that. That’s game playing. We are all adults here.

        If a girl wants to say something to me, like how much fun she had on our initial meeting, she should.  It may encourage me to see her again, where I may have the idea she is not interested.

        In fact, in every initial meeting I have had, they have at least texted me a nice “had fun, like to see you again” message.  It’s 100%.

        I had that happen. I got along great with a woman, we had fun, talked a couple of times after that, then she got busy with work and was unavailable for a few days.  When I said to her 4 days later “How are you doing?” she said “You took too long, I lost interest”.

        That’s fine, but it was only 4 days, and she was unavailable.  I wasn’t that interested.  I might have been able to be encouraged.

        But I don’t chase anyone.  I am also only on my own schedule.  Heh.

         

        1. Grenoble

          Lost interest after only four days? Ouch, that’s pretty harsh. She must have a lot of suitors if she can just drop you like a hot potato.

          I could understand her moving on if you ignored her for a week or two, but to shove you away after four days when she was the one who was unavailable sounds a bit much, especially if you had a good time.

          Some people can be really unforgiving.

          But more to your point, I agree that it is really great to get some sort of feedback from women. I don’t need a woman to do the work, I’ll gladly step up and do my part. But if she won’t take ANY initiative from time to time, I’ll have a hard time figuring out where I stand.

          Any form of contact is acceptable to me; a text, a call, a card, a letter, an e-mail, come see me in person at home or at work, ANYTHING. Just don’t leave me hanging for days or weeks at a time, then complain when I stop contacting you because I don’t think you’re interested.

          I’ve been in situations where a girl would never initiate contact, so I would do all the initiating, but guess what? She wasn’t interested after all, so that’s why she never initiated.

          This happens enough that I love it when a girl initiates from time to time because then I know she’s interested. Don’t think it’s too much to ask. Men like feminine (read: passive) women who accept his masculine (read: pursuing, confident) energy, but I think there is such a thing as a woman being far too passive.

          Women shouldn’t pursue men, but if a guy has been pursuing a relationship with you for a while, after a few weeks or so, it wouldn’t hurt to let him know you’re interested or thinking about him. Exclusivity can come soon after.

      2. 4.1.2
        jon

        After 4 months, it sounds to me like she is the one playing games.  Most people want equality in a relationship, and if the guy is doing all the work, then he’s going to feel that she is not interested and stringing him along.  If a guy is honest about his interest, then why should a girl play games?  Men get dumped all the time as well, so he’s got to protect himself if this girl is giving him the cold shoulder and not putting in the effort into the relationship.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Here’s what you don’t get, Jon.

          If a guy is dating a girl for 4 months and hasn’t asked her to be his gf, HE is playing games or playing the field.

          Plain and simple.

          HER job at that point and until he asks her to be his gf (assuming she is still interested while he is hemming and hawing about committing to her after FOUR MONTHS!) — is to either dump him if she doesn’t want to wait any longer OR continue to happily go out with him until either he commits or she gets tired of waiting.

          HER job is NOT to “make him more interested in her”. It’s HIS job to state his intentions.

          Once he gets off the fence, THEN she initiates as much as she likes, assuming he gets off the fence on the side of commitment.

          You and Not Jerry are so AFRAID or so LAZY or so women-like in your approach to dating, it’s probably no wonder why you’re both lacking success.

          If you like a girl, ask her out. If she likes you, she says yes each time you ask. At some point, you have to man up and ask her to be your girlfriend if you want HER to initiate.

          If both you and Not Jerry want HER to initiate so that SHE pays for the date, then just admit you’re cheap and NEITHER of you should bother to date ANYONE.

          MOST women start offering to go dutch or pick up the occasional tab after date 3.

          If either or you are dating women who DON’T offer to do that after date 3, then you should stop dating her at date 3. Don’t keep dating her for three more months hoping she’ll step up. She won’t.

        2. jon

          I don’t know the dynamics of their relationship, it seems that they are both very busy and travel a lot.  Is it just a weekend relationship with friday dinner dates?  There’s just something about her that seems very passive and indecisive, she was also dating 5 other guys as well, so nothing is stopping her from choosing those 5 other guys.  She’s holding back and not giving him a reason to commit to her.  It sounds like she just wants an asexual BFF.  So after he commits to her, she changes her personality and takes charge and initiates conversations?  After 4 months, it seems like she is the one hiding her true personality and holding back.  By your logic, its okay for a guy to stop putting in effort after being exclusive and monogamous, because he’s finally settled down and now the woman can take charge of the relationship?

        3. jon

          Karmic, I actually agree that the Traditional Patriarchy method of dating is effective for a woman who wants to get married.  She wants to abstain from pre-monogamous sex.  But in this modern age of pro-feminism, men do expect a woman to behave equally.  That means that if a woman can become president, then it should be okay for a woman to make phone calls, make dinner plans, choose restaurants, and pay for dinner.  Believe it or not, a lot of guys have a very liberal outlook on sexual freedom and gender roles.  It seems like the OP is re-enforcing Traditional Gender roles to a point that it is alarming and uncomfortable for modern men.  It would be frustrating to date a woman who can’t make her own decisions and wants a man to lead all the time.  In addition, while its okay for her to choose Abstinence, while she dates several men, should the guys also take a vow of abstinence if he is also dating several women?  If he is seeing 2 women, and one of them wants to have pre-marital sex, then should he dump the other women.  Then if that 1st relationship doesn’t work out, would it be okay for him to try again with the 2nd women?  Is a man only allowed 1 chance to pick his future wife?  Is no one allowed to return to an ex-girlfriend because he was ready to get married?  Here’s another tip for the ladies, if a man is okay being abstinent with you for 4 months, then he is sleeping with other women.  He may enjoy her personality as an asexual BFF, but he’s finding another outlet for physical intimacy.

        4. Karmic Equation

          “By your logic, its okay for a guy to stop putting in effort after being exclusive and monogamous, because he’s finally settled down and now the woman can take charge of the relationship?

          Would that it were only logic that said this. lol

           

          Guys, in my experience, unilaterally stop putting in effort after being exclusive and monogamous at some point. Some sooner than others.

          So no, it’s not right. But yes, it happens 100% of the time. That’s why my relationships ended. Once he stops in putting in effort, I’ll drive for a while. Once I stop putting in effort, the relationship ends. And he wonders why I end them. Duh!

          I suppose I should just let the relationship end when he stops putting in effort. Umm. Yeah, I think that’s why past two relationships ended so quickly as compared to those first 4.

        5. Karmic Equation

          Jon,

          I don’t care how many men he’s seeing if we’re not exclusive.

          He shouldn’t care how many men I’m seeing by the same token.

          If you only see a relationship in terms of who is paying for what, then you’ll never be in a good relationship. They will all be transactional relationships.

          That is the disservice that current PUA philosphy does to men.

        6. Not Jerry

          I never said anything like she had to initiate or pay.  Never ever. But she better show signs she wants to see me.  If she shows none but agrees to see me if I ask, I have to wonder what the hell is going on.

          I have met a woman like that. Two women, actually.

          Didn’t give a shit about me. But was ok with me buying drinks and food.  I am no chump. I am looking for a relationship.  Not to be a meal ticket.

      3. 4.1.3
        Karl S

        I thought the idea of mirroring was to show an equal amount interest but no more.  If he initiates you can initiate back. If a woman doesn’t send me a text or suggest a meetup off her own bat every once in a while I start to wonder how much they really want me.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          My boyfriend and I became exclusive rather quickly (we’ve been together almost 9 months)  I am at the point where I have no qualms about “initiating”, but since we spend 5-6 days a week together,  there isn’t much need.  We rarely do phone calls (something I thought I would be a must have, but it’s something I really don’t miss), so on the one -two days we are not together it’s e-mail communication.  Almost every time I try to “intiate” the daily e-mail, I pull up my account and lo and behold, he has beaten to me the punch.  So while I have no qualms about initiating communicating with my sweet heart, it is pretty impossible as he always seems to beat me to it.  I have no qualms about initiating physical affection tho’.  I don’t keep score, but I guess who initiates hugs, kisses and cuddles in our relationship is probably nearly even.

          We have never doubted our interest in each other, which was obvious from the start.  I think if a man really wants to pursue a woman he WILL.  He won’t need her chasing him to know that he is wanted by her.  Like me, even if she thinks about initiating, she won’t get the chance and it won’t be necessary. He’ll know her interest is genuine by her warm and enthusiastic response.

          Reach for her hand.  Cold dead fish hand means no interest.  She intertwines her fingers, gives a squeeze, makes eye contact and smiles (really smiles, not that fake polite smile, but a genuine smile that just breaks out all over her face).

          Go for a kiss.  She give you her LIPS, not her cheek, she’s interested.  She gives you some tongue, she’s REALLY interested.

          Call her.  She answers and calls you by name.  She has you on her caller ID, to screen you IN.  She’s interested ! If she regularly lets it go to voice mail and takes hours or days to return your call, she’s  not interested. (or playing games, and I say screw that and move on)

          Ask her out, she enthusiastically says YES, she’s interested.  If she truly can’t make the date you suggest, she pouts a bit about REALLY wanting to go, but she can’t that night, and let’s you know when she IS available. If she’s not interested “She’s busy”.

          If a guy is interested in a girl, he only needs to read her responsiveness to his initiation.  A woman shouldn’t have to chase a man in the pre-exclusivity phase to show interest.  She only needs to warmly and enthusiastically respond to his initiation.

          Once an exclusive relationship has been established, she may initiate, however, in my case, it still might not be necessary, and in fact might be almost impossible !

          If she is a “Rules” girl, I don’t know how to de-code the “rules” from genuine dis-interest, as I don’t play those games, never have, never will, and I find them to be quite pointless.

           

        2. LC2

          I’m sitting here laughing in disbelief at Jon, Not Jerry and Karl.  You sound like spoiled little boys.   A woman should not have to initiate a date during the courting process.  Showing interest, definitely!  Karmic and Sparkling said it perfectly.  “If you like a girl, ask her out. If she likes you, she says yes each time you ask. At some point, you have to man up and ask her to be your girlfriend if you want HER to initiate”.

          All I hear from guys I know is if a woman has masculine energy and starts texting and pursuing them after they just met that she is a crazy nut job.   Haha I should get their numbers and forward them to the guys above 🙂

        3. Not Jerry

          I never said a woman had to initiate. But she better look damned interested.

          If she is not and just likes me buying drinks and food, well, I have “dated” a couple of those. Waste of time.

      4. 4.1.4
        MikeTO

        Any that’s why he should move on. I certainly won’t be competing with other men. Not a jealousy thing, the chances of things working out gets lower. Also what if she’s sleeping around?

        Thanks but no thanks.

      5. 4.1.5
        Karl S

        If both you and Not Jerry want HER to initiate so that SHE pays for the date, then just admit you’re cheap and NEITHER of you should bother to date ANYONE.

        Is there some rule that says if you initiate a date then you have to pay? I wasn’t aware of this rule. I usually go dutch with someone if we’re dating, although depending on my mood maybe I’ll grab the check that night and they can get the next one. It never has anything to do with who asked who out that night though.

        1. Karmic Equation

          When I’m dating and I suggest a place to go, I usually pick up the tab…because I make more than most guys I’ve dated.

          If the guy asks, I usually go dutch if he drives my way.

          The only time I’ve felt “entitled” to a guy paying for a meal is when I feel he completely deceived me, by like being 50lbs heavier than ANY of his posted pics.

          Otherwise, I’ll reach for my purse and/or ask “How much do I owe?”

          After I’m in a committed relationship, and again, because I’m usually the one making more money, I’ve paid between the majority of the time.

          The person making more money should pay…once in a relationship. During dating, it’s really up to her call.

          I usually eat out. So I don’t see a big deal about whether I pay my share or not.

          That said, when I “insist” on paying on or after the first date, that usually means I don’t plan on going on a second date.

          Plus I like to eat expensively, like lobster or ribeye. So when I pick a pricier item on the menu than he does, I’ll offer to pay my share because I don’t want him to feel like my meal ticket.

          I’ve had a date tell me he had a date who ordered TWO meals. And took one meal home as a doggy bag. I couldn’t believe the brazenness of that!

          I would surely hope most of you guys haven’t had to do that. I’m guessing you’d let that gal wash dishes before you paid for her.

      6. 4.1.6
        ildergreier

        Bullshit.

      7. 4.1.7
        Al

        I believe in the Golden Rule on this. If I expect a man to be engaged and present, treat me as though I matter to him, then I’d better be willing to  reciprocate.  Men ARE human. They need to feel appreciated too. I’d have been out after a week if a guy refused to initiate contact with me. I’d assume disinterest. Then again, I don’t waste my time with man-children who need women to play stupid mind games with them in order to hold their interest. If a guy is that unaware of his own heart he is of no use to me or any other woman in the end. If you have to play those kinds of games in the beginning be prepared to play them forever. I aint’ got time for that.

      8. 4.1.8
        Marika

        Hmm, really Karmic? What if the guy isn’t familiar with that particular rule? I didn’t know that (and wouldn’t feel comfortable operating that way myself) and I’m a woman. If either gender is putting in all the effort, isn’t it reasonable they’d start to wonder whether the other person is all that keen on them? The only guys I knew who pursued relentlessly no matter whether I reciprocated or not were pushy types who only cared about their own feelings and had no sensitivity to mine. A nice guy may well feel if you don’t initiate that you’re just not that into them.

        Mirroring doesn’t mean doing nothing. If the guy is calling & planning dates, then after the first couple (just to ensure you’re not chasing too much), surely it’s entirely reasonable for the woman to start making some plans…& certainly to send the odd message so he knows you care

        Hard & fast rules only work if everyone’s familiar with them, and sometimes not even then.

    2. 4.2
      Lucy

      That’s where I’ve gone wrong before – by sticking too rigidly to trying to appear the cool girl. It’s not about playing games for me, just guarding my heart, but eventually the guy gets fed up and moves on. The fact is that men want to feel appreciated too. It always takes me a while to be “head over heels” for a guy. Just hard to get the balance right between reciprocating and not showing too much interest. Sometimes I have to remind myself that life isn’t black and white.

      1. 4.2.1
        jon

        It depends on the relationship.  Most exclusive relationships have daily contact, but I think a guy would be okay with once a week, at the very least.  Its not annoying or needy to call once a week.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          If you only call a girl once a week, she’s not your girlfriend. And if she is, she has little self-esteem to accept such distant treatment from her significant other.

        2. jon

          Actually, I was saying that it would be okay for a woman to call a guy at least once a week, at the very least.  It becomes needy, smothering, and a turn-off if a woman needs to call a guy everyday, especially in a non-exclusive relationship or casual relationship.  I don’t know the OP’s age, but for some reason she has taken the drastic Rules approach of playing hard to get and being Icy and Non-responsive.  She lost the guy because she never reciprocated the attention.  Attention can be different than affection, she may be afraid of getting her feelings hurt and her hopes dashed.  If she was truly interested in that guy, she should let him know.  She’s really playing hard to get, and the guy figured that it was more effort than he could put up with.  There are plenty of beautiful high-maintenance women, and they want guys to put all the effort to please her.  Some times, its just better off to start off as platonic friends with no expectations and the freedom to call each other without playing games or power-struggles.  There are a lot of Players that will put up a huge effort for 3 weeks to impress a woman and sleep with her, but then they get tired of trying to impress her.  Those type of romantic game-playing may work in Hollywood movies, but in real life women need to understand that LT relationships should start off as equal friendships; and not power-struggles with the guy putting all the work and effort.

        3. Karl S

          Evan, at a guess I think he meant for the girl to initiate the call once a week.

        4. Karl S

          In reply to your second comment Jon, the guy in the letter ended up coming back though and asking for a second shot.

          Part of me wonders if he was dating somebody else meanwhile since they hadn’t gone exclusive yet and the other woman was actually sleeping with him. Maybe he thought that was the one to choose, but it fizzled. Pure speculation though.

        5. jon

          karl, yeah he might have been communicating with some other women, but those women may have also been more responsive and attentive.  Why would any man or woman want to be with someone who does not show any attention or interest?  He just thinks she’s a difficult to please woman.  In online dating, casual dating is the norm.  It can be impossible to find monogamy, but the OP is holding back too much.  She seems to expect monogamy first and only monogamy.  She’s not really focused on building a foundation of an equal relationship.  She seems almost too traditional, and its a turnoff for modern men who expect women to be more equal in a relationship.

        6. Grenoble

          I partially agree with Jon above.

          I have no issue being the one to do all the work. In fact, I enjoy it for the most part, but when I initiate all the time and there is no effort on the woman’s part occasionally, I start to wonder if she’s just biding her time with me.

          I dated a woman who enthusiastically said yes to everything I planned and it seemed like things were headed for a relationship. A couple of months in, I’m ready to have the exclusivity talk, but before I get to say anything, she decides she’s not ready for a relationship anymore and stops responding to any form of contact for several weeks until I see her out in person one day and she explains herself.

          So, although I get what some of the women here are saying about looking for receptivity, but sometimes that’s not enough. Some women just “go with the flow” until they can find a way to break it off and others will always respond well to contact even if they have little intention of letting much happen.

          Initiating contact would give me a better indication of interest.

          I wouldn’t let it bother me if we still lived in a more traditional time where woman really weren’t supposed to do anything but let the men pursue, but when I frequently hear about women who give all their attention and adoration to guys who do essentially nothing, I wonder whether it’s really worth it to pursue a woman if she’s simply going to back off in favor of the guy who hardly contacts her.

          I’ll chalk it up to simply finding the wrong women for me who can’t fully appreciate me, but damn, there are a lot of them.

          So, that is the only reason I would like a woman to contact me. Not to set up anything, not to pursue me, not to “be the man” in the relationship. Just to let me know I’m not just someone she talks to when she’s bored or completely wasting my time.

        7. Evan Marc Katz

          I hear you, man, but that’s a fear-based decision. Simply put (as Sparkling Emerald did), if a woman likes you, she’ll say yes every time you ask. No need to stand on ceremony. No need to guess. No need to live in fear that she’s using you temporarily. It’s just called dating. How can SHE know that you don’t just want to sleep with her or that you want to marry her one day. That’s right: she doesn’t. Successful dating is about carrying yourself with confidence. Confident men call women and assume the answer is yes. Insecure men wait for women to call just to prove they’re interested. Guess who does better with the opposite sex?

        8. jon

          The OP seemed extremely passive when it came to online dating and indecisive because she admitted to dropping 5 guys and waiting for this 1 frontrunner to step up.  Guys don’t want to keep spending money for dinners with indecisive women who will dump them.  Yeah, that is dating but it gets expensive for men, so much for equality, heh.  She just came across as a cold fish who is half-heartedly dating.  She seems to expect monogamy and exclusivity without putting in the effort herself.  She was dating 5 guys online, and He was also dating several women online.  Only she doesn’t seem to admit to casual dating, while he is admitting to casual dating.  She’s waiting for that white knight to step it up, while she’s waiting in the tower.

        9. Al

          Man, what world am I living in then, because I keep getting guys texting me every few hours and getting all bent out of shape if I take a day to respond.  They text me good morning at 7 am, text to ask what I had for lunch, what I’m cooking for dinner, how my day went, then they text to say good night. It’s smothering and it keeps happening. I’ve now started telling them that I turn my phone off sometimes to connect with the 3D world. That seems to help somewhat but they still expect a response within 24 hrs. This is after one or two dates, BTW, not an exclusive relationship.

      2. 4.2.2
        DeeGee

        Lucy said: “just guarding my heart, but eventually the guy gets fed up and moves on.

        I would try being honest with the guy and communicating this to him in some fashion.  If he cannot take honest communication from you about your feelings, he’s not right for you.
        If I was in the early stages of dating a girl, who told me she wanted to take it slow for a bit because she wanted to understand her feelings, if I was actually interested in her I would have no problem with that at all.
        If after that, I felt it was dragging on too long, I would be honest enough to ask her what was going on at that time.

        jon said: “but I think a guy would be okay with once a week

        Seriously dude?  🙂
        If I was in an exclusive dating relationship I would be calling (and/or texting) every day and seeing her often.  Maybe I’m too much of a smothering type. Maybe that’s why I’m still single…  :-s

        1. jon

          Some couples only have date night dinner once a week, with the guy paying for dinner.  It depends on how often a couple see each other, or if the phonecalls are in place of date-nights such as in LDR.  I don’t think a girl should call a guy every-day if they just started dating or just met.

    3. 4.3
      Lori

      I agree with you Jon about her not initiating calling him after that long. It is important for a man to know that the woman he is dating is serious about him and serious enough to show him through calling/texting him first that she is interested in him really. Both sides have to work at a relationship and this is part of it. As a woman myself I could not stop myself from contacting a man I was interested in especially him showing his interest in me. It gives the man you are dating exact signs that you are as interested in him as he you. Men need to know that the women they are dating feel the same. Like with women this helps stop the insecurities and shows she appreciates him not just when he contacts her or spends time with her. Relationships work both ways.

  5. 5
    Not Jerry

    In a real relationship, where you are not living together, you better be prepared for a daily communication.

    If you are trekking in Africa, OK, that standard might be relaxed.

    But if you are in civilization and you don’t make a daily contact with your significant other, you are nowhere.

    I was seeing a woman a couple years ago. I say that loosely, because she had been alone a while, about 15  years. Then she met me, and she clearly enjoyed it! The biggest smiles. Alternated with stress.  When she felt stress she was a distancer.

    We talked every day, but she made herself unavailable. Buried herself in her work. Worked late.  Was not available.  Then she would make a little attempt and we would reconnect for one day, then off again.

    It was not a maintainable relationship for either of us.

    I regret that, but I couldn’t fix it, not by myself.

    Oh well, one of my regrets.

  6. 6
    marymary

    No exclusivity after four months is not great. Many things are forgivable but it’s extra hard to progress with  other parties being involved even if it’s not technically cheating.  You’re not really “in”.  You think you’re getting a bit of everything but you’re really getting nothing.

    See what he has to say.

  7. 7
    Blondie99

    Disagree Evan.   This guy clearly was stringing a few women along, and thought something was going somewhere with another one of them so he ditched the writer.       The other girl ditched him and now he is coming crawling back.  If this was everyday dating I may be with you, but this is a online dating thing, it happens all the time!  Its happened to me a lot as well.      I would be very guarded with this man.   She is his back up, she was not his first choice. If she is okay with being that then fine, just knowing that when someone better comes along he will bolt again.  Don’t be naive.

    1. 7.1
      Josie

      I have to also disagree with Evan here.  I would really love to hear from the writer, Kate, as to what occurred with this guy when they had their reunion date.

      I also think that the man’s behavior during the first four months of courtship should be such that he seals the deal by declaring exclusivity within that time frame.  I too have missed important cues during this crucial time period . Even if work travel disrupts the dating process , a commitment – ready man will have claimed her as his girlfriend within 3 months.

      I do not think this situation is comparable to Evan’s client who was dating a man for only 6 weeks before he backed out giving the sensitive and kind explanation about not being over his ex. At six weeks, there is still room for uncertainty.  Not so much after the long time

      1. 7.1.1
        Josie

        Sorry – my IPad posted before I was ready.   I was going to add that four months is a long time for a man to date without not knowing what he wants. I agree that Kate needs to guard her heart with this man.

    2. 7.2
      jon

      She did admit to dating 5 other man during that same time period, so I don’t know why your just blaming the guy for casual dating as well.  Perhaps a man dating = casual dating/casual sex.  While a woman casually dating = phone calls and expensive dinner without sex.  Do women just have the mindset of high school virgins?  If she likes spending time with a guy now, or 6 months from now, what is the difference?  It seems like women want to make up all these rules for saying NO, and expecting that white knight to surprise her, and wow her in 4 weeks.  Women claim they want slow dating, but then don’t practice it.

  8. 8
    Sea Breeze

    I have had this happen as well (although not with someone I’d dated for four months!) We went out on several dates, liked each other, had lots in common and chemistry.  Out of the blue I got a message from him that some woman he’d met previously and had ‘hoped something would develop with’ had ‘come back around’ and  he wanted to pursue that. OK, fine, points for honesty, I didn’t care at that point. Wrote him off, wished him luck.

    Imagine my surprise when about six weeks later this same dude contacted me again, asking if we could pick up where we left off. I told him no thanks, his actions clearly showed me I was ‘good enough’ but that he’d always (in my opinion) be looking to trade up and I’d always be wondering when he’d be off to chase someone new. THEN he claimed that he’d really made all that up, there wasn’t anyone else, he just hadn’t felt I was interested in him and that was his way of exiting gracefully. Not sure where he would have gotten that impression, as we had regular contact, but whatever.

    I was like, huh?? If you didn’t think I was interested, WHY ARE YOU BACK to try again??? I think the likely scenario was the first one – he chased Ms. Better Option, and it didn’t go well. Which is fine, but I’m nobody’s second choice. I’d rather be alone than someone who doesn’t know I’m the prize.

     

    1. 8.1
      jon

      Sometimes, its just a matter of timing.  He dated one girl and it didn’t work and maybe she wasn’t right for him.  Does that automatically mean a relationship won’t work out with the 2nd girl?  People chase after the hottest option available, and get burned, and they might have a better relationship with the average-looking girl or guy who was second choice.  Some guys just aren’t ready to settle down and chase after the hot party girls, but they become monogamous and marry the nice church-going girls.  Maybe he decided to value your shared relationship; and realized that the relationship with other girls was inferior.  Guys are immature and it might take weeks for him to realize that he let go of an amazing girl.  The Paradox of choice doesn’t allow any room for error – does he only get one choice in finding the perfect woman, and the rejected girls go away forever?  That’s advanced game theory, how can one man/woman choose only one woman/man out of 5 options to marry?  The answer that most singles have figured out is to just casually date all 5 options, and then figure it out later.

    2. 8.2
      Lucy

      I totally respect your opinion and I think sometimes that is what happens. However you don’t really know what’s going through the man’s head. Sometimes a man really likes you but doesn’t want to bite the bullet yet, or wants to figure things out to confirm his feelings. It doesn’t mean you are second best to him. Things are not clear cut – sometimes you’re not sure about someone initially and they turn into a great love of your life. So it’s good to give the guy some slack!

      Sometimes the perfect person is right in front of you but you’re reluctant because they’re not the type of person you’re ‘supposed’ to like or the fantasy image you’ve built up for years.

      I just don’t think I’m that amazing that the guy is going to be into me from the beginning or he is totally not interested at all.  Sometimes guys come across really into you but it’s all an act anyway. It can lead to getting hurt when you focus too much on what their gestures imply than whether the time you spend together is truly intimate.

  9. 9
    jon

    I re-read the letter and wow, she dated him for 4 months without any sex!!!  She deserves to be dumped.  Did she take a vow of celibacy?  Is he paying for all her dinners?  She seems to want a Pen Pal or asexual BFF, and not a husband.

    1. 9.1
      In Not Of

      Indeed, why bother waiting at all? Why not just get it on the first date or hook up?

      1. 9.1.1
        jon

        The OP is acting all innocent and naive, but she admits to dating several other men via online dating during her 4 months being celibate.  Women also hold a lot of power in deciding monogamy and exclusivity.  She can just as easily go online and find the next “front-runner” and become a female player.  There are also plenty of average-looking boring girls that guys don’t want to commit to, so maybe the guy just feels he’s putting in too much effort in the relationship and got fed up.  Is sex her goal, or is she seeking an asexual friendship?  Most guys don’t want to be platonic friends with girls or strung along.

        1. Kyra

          “Women also hold a lot of power in deciding monogamy and exclusivity.”

          No, they don’t. Women hold power in deciding when sex happens, but whether, after that sex, a couple will be exclusive or monogamous is almost entirely up to the male.

          How many times have you heard the story of a man disppearing and/or never calling again after a woman has sex with him?

          She was dating several men while seeing this man which is exactly what she should have been doing. She was keeping her body and the special moment of connecting sexually as the gift that is it for the man she knew she could feel comfortable with knowing would be in it for the long haul. And if after four months of dating, she felt this man wasn’t that man she absolutely should not have had sex with him. At the first thought of exclusivety/committment, he ran.

          If he steps up this time, makes things exclusive and stays his butt put then she should give him all the sex they both deserve. Otherwise, date, play the field, continue to meet and date men and don’t have sex with any man until he’s proven he’s there for a relationship, not a romp in the hay.

        2. jon

          Kyra, why would you think a commitment or monogamy means anything?  It could last a month or a week.  Just because a guy says he wants to be monogamous doesn’t mean anything.  The guy can still cheat or lose interest.  What really matters is if there is a valued relationship between both people.  Men can view sex and committment separately.  If a man uses a woman for sex, a woman uses a man for a relationship.  That means the woman demands a man’s time, and a man’s money.  Its a very patriarchal relationship if you think about it, and there are many men that reject those old-fashioned values.  Women can live independent lives these days, and women have the power to choose men and make the first move.  A man will stick around after sex if he enjoys being around the woman, and its a fallacy for a woman to think that sex guarantees anything.  A woman can demand monogamy and she can dump a many who doesn’t want that.  Its just as easily up to the woman to demand monogamy and wait for an answer.

        3. popee

          @jon “Kyra, why would you think a commitment or monogamy means anything?  It could last a month or a week.  Just because a guy says he wants to be monogamous doesn’t mean anything.  The guy can still cheat or lose interest.”

          Commitment to women is EVERYTHING. In fact it’s the ONLY thing that really matters. While I think 4 months and no sex is ridiculous, ultimately, having sex without a relationship in place has NEVER shown to lead to relationships since sex, to men isn’t as bonding as it is to women. There are so many stories from women who get into these FWB scenarios and get hurt because they are wasting their time and resources on someone who has announced from day one they have nothing to offer them.

          It’s  not relevant how long something lasts, what is relevant is the idea that you are not wasting your time with some wishy-washy man.  I love sex and all but I view it as an investment in a man and a commodity to be exchanged for companionship and monogamous commitment. If a man is not offering commitment, he literally has nothing to offer therefore he is not worth my time or investment.

          “Commitment” in a nutshell means, to me anyway, that you can count on someone for situations that are non-sexual. Meaning you begin to participate in each other’s lives publicly,  and to spend time together in non-sexual bonding activities.

          I completely agree with Kara. Women have little or no power when it comes to commitment and exclusivity therefore we have to be REALLY careful that we don’t waste our (sexual) resources and time on men who aren’t in a position to reciprocate with what we want, which is companionship and commitment.

        4. jon

          Popee, Bravo for admitting that women are just using sex to lead to commitment. I would like to point out that that is kind of a sales Switcheroo.  A woman is promising a man sex, and then afterwards, she demands that he spend all his free time with her doing non-sexual activity.  A woman has replaced phase 1 (romantic activity) with phase 2 (non-romantic activity).  Do you understand why some men might not be interested in phase 2 (non-romantic activity)?  If you want a best friend, get a pet or dog.  If you want a male handyman, hire a plumber.  Many men are only interested in phase 1.  Its up to the woman to determine before sex, and on equal footing, that a man wants non-romantic activities.  Also, the reliance on patriarchy places the man in control of both phase 1 and phase 2.  You say you want a man to do all the work in courting and planning romantic dates, and leading the relationship before sex.  The man has done all the work and has been rewarded with sex.  Now, in phase 2, a woman still expects a man to spend all his free time on non-romantic activities.  So in essence, a woman is giving a man all the Power to court, and then to commit.  If a woman really needs a boyfriend or husband, then why can’t she put in some work into keeping the relationship going in phase 1 and phase 2?  How can a woman change the relationship from sexual to non-sexual?  Perhaps no guy wants to be your husband and take on those duties?  Some men just don’t want platonic activities.

        5. Al

          Jon: Men and Women both want certain things from relationships. In the Courtship phase both tend to put in extra effort to give the other what they need. Men are romantic and engaged, which is designed to get the woman to give them what they want, sex. If both continue to stay balanced the relationship works.

           

           

          You say: “You say you want a man to do all the work in courting and planning romantic dates, and leading the relationship before sex.  The man has done all the work and has been rewarded with sex.  Now, in phase 2, a woman still expects a man to spend all his free time on non-romantic activities.”

           

          My answer is this… If the man still expects the sex to continue than heck yeah, the woman is still going to expect that the man give her what she needs too. Why do men think that, after the “Honeymoon” phase, they can drop all pretense of being romantic and emotionally available (you know, all those things that lead to sex) but still expect the sex to remain at those Honeymoon levels? You get what you give. If you start ignoring your woman then don’t complain when she loses interest in you sexually. This works both ways. If the woman drops the sex then she shouldn’t be surprised when the man pays less attention to her as well.

  10. 10
    Karl S

    I’m sitting here laughing in disbelief at Jon, Not Jerry and Karl.  You sound like spoiled little boys.  A woman should not have to initiate a date during the courting process.

    Remember that the man in the OP’s letter also mentioned that it bothered him. It bothered him enough that he had to explicitly point it out to her. Would they have even had that breakup period if she did?

    The guys posting here seem pretty unified in the opinion that they want to see a woman initiate a date or a call/text every once in  a while. None of them want the girl to take the lead in courting. But hey, maybe we’re just a vocal minority of aggrieved beta males. I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a typical alpha.

    I’ve been dating around a fair bit myself myself but the woman I’m the most invested in is someone who gives no f***’s about the rules. She invites me over for the night often and even suggests places to eat (quelle horreur!). That’s not to say I don’t initiate myself, but it feels quite equal and it really drives home the sense that she wants me as much as I want her.

    Now, I can respect people wanting to guard themselves and the no sex till exclusivity is a fine rule, but I personally develop more feelings for those who take big chances with me.

  11. 11
    DeeGee

    It would have to be real extenuating circumstances for me to take someone back after they walked away.  In the majority of cases I wouldn’t do it because it would take a long time to rebuild back any trust.

  12. 12
    MilkyMae

    A little off topic but she dated him for four months without initiating contact and she wants exclusivity before contacting him.  I can understand exclusivity before sexual intimacy but no calling him before exclusivity.  That’s just insane.  She thinks her diminished interest for other men was foolishness on her part.  Come on!  An emotional investment is nothing until you make it known to your partner.  She doesn’t like vulnerability.  She needs to lighten up especially at age 41.

  13. 13
    Karmic Equation

    I believe everyone, particularly the men, are focusing on the wrong issue.

    Issue 1:

    If a man is really into a girl, he usually “claims” her (e.g., asks her to be his gf), within 2-3 months. That gives him PLENTY of time to end it with any of his other chicks that he likes less.

    If after 4 months, he STILL hasn’t claimed her, then he ISN’T into her. Or else not into her MORE than he is into the other chick(s) he is dating.

    It doesn’t matter if she’s not into him if HE is not into her.

    If a girl initiating is the ONLY reason a man hasn’t made her his girlfriend? Who wants that fickle guy for a bf? Not me.

    Issue 2:

    Too many women are getting huffy about being this guy’s “back up plan”, his “second choice”.

    Before OLD, men usually concentrated on dating one woman at a time, not because she was his FIRST choice. Often it was because she was his ONLY choice. It took a lot of time and effort to find a girl to date “back in those days”. And once he found her he would be a fool to dump her after date 1 or even after several months, because he would have to work hard to get another girl.

    Nowadays, with online dating BOTH men and women are dating multiple people simultaneously.

    Most women have a “preferred” choice but the other men she’s dating are ALSO good choices, but she happens to like one better than the others. Happens all the time.

    But if here preferred choice doesn’t ask her to be his gf before one of the other guys ask, and she says yes to that other guy, are all the women saying that he was HER back up plan? That he was HER second choice? So this second choice guy should RESCIND his offer to be her gf because he wasn’t her preferred choice?

    Get real. In the world of OLD, there is no shame to being second, third, or tenth choice because you are STILL being chosen.

    “Back in the old days”, when men were dating one girl at a time, she wasn’t his first choice or 10th choice. He didn’t have ANY choice. She was sole-sourced. Or you could say, he “settled” for the first girl who would have him.

    1. 13.1
      Not Jerry

      I don’t wait three months to have the exclusive discussion. That comes pretty fast, or we’ll be saying goodbye.

      If that’s not OK with her, it’ll be goodbye right now.  I have never heard a single complaint, or heard a no.

       

    2. 13.2
      Shaukat

      Re. “Issue” 1:)

      Here’s the thing Karmic, your stringent “Rules” advice about initiating contact and exclusivity is in many ways the flip side of the PUA mantra. This is what they tell their followers: “Don’t pay or court women until you know she’s interested in you sexually. If you can build attraction, she’ll come to you and won’t need you to pay for dates or dinners before sex. It’s not your job to feed anyone, and women who feel entitled to that treatment are selfish and low quality. If you build attraction, she’ll contact you.” (Or some variant of this).

       

      While some of that advice might be valuable based on context, it is also grounded in the same kind of entitlement that leads to the ‘rules’ philosophy: “It’s the man’s job to pay, court, and initiate all contact until he proves he’s into you. If he’s into you, he’ll put in the effort and buy you dinner etc, and not expect sex until you’re exclusive.”

      I have no problem initiating dates when I’m interested. However, the issue here is whether it is appropriate to date someone for 4 months without ever initiating ANY kind of contact between dates on the grounds that it’s the man’s job to do this before exclusivity. It’s not. I would never date someone for four months if I never even received a text saying “I had a nice time” or ‘how’s your day going’ or something like that after the third date. It would let me know that she’s not just biding her time and is equally interested.

       

      Also, keep in mind that the OP described this guy as quirky, a nerd and a little weird. There’s a strong possibility that he already thought that they were exclusive and didn’t think it necessary to have an official discussion about. She’s the one who was dating multiple other people, but she doesn’t say that she had reason to believe he was. I will say this though: If he wasn’t dating anyone else and he stuck around with the OP for four months without sex, he should probably be the one asking for advice.

       

      1. 13.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        Well, I’m usually having sex or exclusive way before 4 months myself. So to me, this is unchartered territory. lol

        But suffice it to say someone was not into someone at the 4 month mark. She said she was into him but was giving him space to commit. He asked her why she didn’t inititate, she pretty much said she was waiting for exclusivity. After that conversation he should have been clear about what she wanted. If he was really that dense, then he’s too dense for most women and it’s quite nice that OP doesn’t hold his cluelessness against him like I would have. I feel that he was NOT dense and was actually dating others or was hoping something else would pan out better than it obviously did.

        In which case, then OP was absolutely smart to NOT sleep with him. Why sleep with a guy who’s probably sleeping with someone else?

        If the issue is who is paying on dates, then there is not enough info to assume that OP was NOT paying after date 3. Maybe she was cooking dinners. Maybe they were going dutch. Need more info.

        All we do know is that he didn’t ask for exclusivity. My question is why not?

        I think the PUA community, when it comes to defining “courting” as paying for dates, is off base. As a woman, I don’t feel I should be be SUBSIDIZING a man going on dates with other women. My offering to pay for dates before exclusivity is pretty much ensuring that’s exactly what I’m doing.

        I have no problems with men I’m dating dating other women before exclusivity. But I’m not going to subsidize that freedom if I can avoid it. If he doesn’t like that POV, don’t ask me out again. I’m good with that.

        1. Nissa

          This is a bit disheartening. I’m a slow mover. I mean, very slow. But it’s not because I’m dating multiple men (rarely) or asking them to subsidize me (cheap or free dates are fine), or too shy to say I’m not that into them (if I’m dating you, I’m into you, or at least open to liking you more).

          It’s because I want to get to know them, really know them, through good and bad times before we start getting naked. My heart, for better or worse, insists on emotional and mental intimacy before the physical.  It’s because I want a relationship where the man takes the lead in the relationship, and doing that while we are dating is a very good predictor of how he will behave once in a relationship.  It’s because I’m trusting the man to believe me when I tell him on the date that I am having fun and enjoying being with him, that I find him interesting and like hearing about his life. It’s also because I have a really strong preference for actual face time instead of phone or text. It just never dawns on me, since I don’t talk to my family or friends on the phone, that a man might interpret that as, say, hiding a husband or a CIA career. I’m just visual, so a great deal of the conversation consists of visual cues. Phone calls feel like half the conversation is missing, especially when I don’t know someone very well.

          Why are people leaping to a negative assumption? If a man asks me out, and I say yes, why is he getting scared if I don’t text him in the 3 days before the date? It’s not a sign of juggling, it’s a sign of trust that I’ve already said yes. I already signaled that I’m interested enough to show up. I have long noticed that men get to know each other through activities (anything from xbox to basketball), and this works better for me too. I don’t really get why I have to keep signaling. I don’t think they believe me when I say, “I really prefer getting to know people in person instead of the phone, and I’m available Saturday if you’d like to do something then”. In my mind, why would someone be asking for a lesser form of communication (a call) when they already have confirmation of willingness of a greater form (a date)? Even if they don’t like me, the date is still a fun activity (walk / feed ducks / see a sunset /find out about /explore a cool new coffeehouse, museum or restaurant) that they can enjoy. Win-win.

           

        2. Karmic Equation

          Sorry, Nissa, heterosexual men don’t normally find any of this stuff fun: walk / feed ducks / see a sunset /find out about /explore a cool new coffeehouse, museum or restaurant.

          If he likes you, he’ll indulge you in doing that.

          Ask what HE likes to do in his spare time and suggest doing one of those things would work better.

          Yes, men bond “doing things” together. Women bond with talking. So if you want to have a man bond to YOU, you’re better off doing stuff HE likes.

        3. Nissa

          Which is why I let them suggest the activity…I’m assuming they will choose something they like to do.

        4. Karmic Equation

          How old are you, Nissa?

        5. Nissa

          Over 40. I was in a relationship/married for 14 years. So I don’t have any rush to jump into anything. Most of the men I know are married, so perhaps that’s why most of the hobbies of men I know are things like photography, hanging out at the beach, meditation, walking around Disneyland etc (at least, those are the things they mentioned when I asked them). I don’t have a moral stance against sex, just that it’s been my experience that people in general are on their best behavior when they are dating, and it takes a while to get to know someone. I find that my first impressions of people are not always the most accurate, and additional information over time can show me a very different person that I originally thought I knew.

        6. DeeGee

          Karmic Equation said: “Sorry, Nissa, heterosexual men don’t normally find any of this stuff fun: walk / feed ducks / see a sunset /find out about /explore a cool new coffeehouse, museum or restaurant.

          🙁

          Do you really think this is true?

          This is why I feel I have such difficulties finding the right woman.
          I am a guy who likes all of that stuff.
          I would rather be with my woman sitting in a jacuzzi tub in a 5 star hotel sipping Dom Perignon, than out drinking beer with my buddies.
          I know what percale means and what a throw pillow is for.
          Unfortunately, most women look at me like I’m weird (I guess I am?).
          I’m not a wimp or effeminate, I do a lot of “guy” things (sports, strength training, boxing, target shooting, etc.).
          Maybe I should send a letter in to Evan…

        7. Karmic Equation

          “I would rather be with my woman sitting in a jacuzzi tub in a 5 star hotel sipping Dom Perignon, than out drinking beer with my buddies.
          I know what percale means and what a throw pillow is for.
          Unfortunately, most women look at me like I’m weird (I guess I am?).”

          DeeGee, what you and Nissa want for “dates” is great once IN a relationship. But, for me, personally, both of you are asking for too much intimacy if that is what you want to do BEFORE you’re exclusive or at least dating for “a while” meaning more than 5 dates.

          Why? Because what you two want requires either a lot of “talking” or a lot of “companionable silence” — and because the activities are so 1:1, you can’t talk about the weather or other “light” topics. You’d be compelled to have deep talks, that at dates 1-5 would feel too deep (at least for me). And at dates 1-5, it’s too early for “companionable silence”.

          And the men I’m most compatible with tend to be type that open up slowly and/or not the type to like “feeding ducks” until he’s vested in my happiness. OTOH, if any guy I dated wanted to go feed ducks, before say, going to King Richard’s Faire or the like, I’d look at them funny, and suggest going to KRF instead.

          For me, and remember, I date like a guy–so I like to DO things on a date (e.g., watch sports), not “walk & talk”–deep conversations are just uncomfortable before I’ve decided I want more than just friendship with them. I suspect most men feel like I do. And most women are like Nissa.

        8. Nissa

          Thanks for the clarify, that makes sense. I am comfortable with a lot of mental / emotional intimacy quickly. So I’m an extreme on the scale. FWIW, I like doing a physical activity on dates because it puts me on the spot less (helping me to not over-share). Instead of the focus being on me, the environment and activity provides a conversation focus. Instead of telling a man about me, I’m showing him. For example, I tend to walk right up to strange dogs and talk to both them and the owner. Right away, my date knows I like dogs, I’m not shy, and that I probably act this way in my normal life. I tend to enjoy myself much more, and it helps me enjoy my date too by keeping us out of ‘interview mode’. It helps me not worry about being that perfect imaginary girl, and to keep being the less-perfect but more authentic girl.

          I love what you said about ‘companionable silence’, it’s a good point. The silences are wonderful because it can show how comfortable someone is in their own skins.  I also love that it inspires men to tell me ‘deep things’ about themselves. Not only do I enjoy hearing about them (facts etc) but their perceptions about what is important about them for me to know.

  14. 14
    MikeTO

    “Often it was because she was his ONLY choice. It took a lot of time and effort to find a girl to date “back in those days”. ”

     

    Really?  Arranged dates are common within my culture and I’m sure it was back then.  My father started dating my step mom when he was looking for a woman to take of us kids after my stupid worthless mom left us.

     

    Let’s not forget meeting women through friends and work.  POF, and other dating sites are worthless for serious dating.  Any woman worth dating wouldn’t go on dating sites.

     

     

    “Back in the old days”, when men were dating one girl at a time, she wasn’t his first choice or 10th choice. He didn’t have ANY choice. She was sole-sourced. Or you could say, he “settled” for the first girl who would have him.”

     

    Do you have any proof of your claims?  Back in the old days women were of higher quality.  So it is less likely a man to date someone else.  Now dating seriously is the minority it’s all about hook ups.

    Uh-Oh, Survey Says Half Of Married Women Have A ‘Backup Husband’ In Mind

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/02/backup-husband_n_5923700.html

     

    Oh yeah quality women.  Why bother marrying when women already have a backup man before they even divorce or sign of getting a divorce?

     

    1. 14.1
      Karmic Equation

      So you’re saying you loved it best men had all the power and women none?

      Welcome to the 21st century, where women have as many choices in partners as men.

      And if she exercises her choice to the fullest of her powers? Good for her.

      I’m sorry your dad chose a douche marry.

      But he made the choice to marry her. Odds are she was a douche before he married her. Perhaps she was a beautiful douche.

      And that’s assuming your dad was a saint. Which I doubt.

      Saints don’t raise embittered children.

       

  15. 15
    MikeTO

    Actually my father is an alcohol.  My father was an abusive person period.  No it was my mother who married the douche bag.  Women lost power not gained it.  If women gained power then why are women on this dating site?

     

    Feminism was designed to break up the family and make the state as the family.  Now it’s all a mess and you think it’s good.  If you did any research you would see that the value of money has gone down.  The buying power of currency it was used to be.  Do some research please.  Starting in the 70’s and early 80’s inflation was at double digits and causing economic hardships.

     

    http://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/09/1970s-great-inflation.asp

     

    it’s funny people are being robbed and they don’t even know.  All well wait until the currency crash of the American dollar and you will think twice of power women have gained.

    The reason I refuse to marry is because of low quality women not because women are so called gaining power.  You’re just a brain washed person, feminists perhaps or influence by cultural marxism.

    1. 15.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Okay, Mike. Time’s up. Why don’t you go back to the environs in which you’re most comfortable? I help women find love and marriage. If you don’t believe in women, love, or marriage, you’re really in the wrong place. Best of luck to you in the future.

    2. 15.2
      Karmic Equation

      So your dad was an alcoholic (I’m sorry about, truly, MikeTO. That is a tough life for anyone, particularly a child).

      But you call your mom “stupid and worthless” —  because you felt she abandoned you to your alcoholic dad.

      It was way tougher in those days being a single mom than now. Culturally now, that is accepted. Just look at all the single celebrity moms. And women could barely find jobs to support herself, nevermind herself and a child or children.

      If you can get out from behind your anger at her abandoning you guys, you’ll realize it took more courage to leave than to stay, because of the social stigma.

      That doesn’t take away from your childhood suffering. But those were the times before sexual liberation and equal opportunity, which you rail against. You mom would have KEPT you and your kids now, because of a generous welfare system and lack of stigma for single moms. Or she could have found a better paying job that would have allowed her to take care of you as well as herself.

      I agree that equal opportunity has made it more difficult for men to find mates. But the many successful women are also having a difficult time finding mates. And it’s a problem of their own making (aka unrealistic expectations).

      No one wins. Sounds like that should make you happy.

      Oh wait, but you want MEN to win.

      Umm. Sorry. I can’t get on board that train.

  16. 16
    MikeTO

    See you make judgements again.  My father abused me too.  It was mother who had the power to choose the man to marry with.  It should be her responsibility  not picking the wrong person.  This is why I refuse marriage because I can’t find a woman I can trust.  She left and came back many times that truly hurt me.  If she left she shouldn’t have keep coming back.

    Oh spare me with the no jobs bullshit because you have no clue.  I was born in South Korea which was ocupied by the Japanese. Then the Korean war started and left with nothing.  My grandmother made money selling clothes.

    What I went through was much worse than what my mother went through because I was a kid but I still stuck around even when I had the choice to live with my grandmother.

     

    Cultural marxism and feminism is all about destroying the family.  The rise of single mothers is part of that.  Now why in the world would I want to get married to just any woman.

     

    For me it’s not about money, it’s about both people putting effort into the relationship.  it’s about loyalty not boredom.  Did you know about half the married women have a back up man incase their marriage fails?

     

     

    http://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/sex/news/a30217/half-of-all-married-women-backup-plan/

     

    http://smashcm.blogspot.com/2013/01/feminism-and-cultural-marxism-plot-to.html

    1. 16.1
      Karmic Equation

      I have no idea what “cultural marxism” is. Don’t care.

      Sounds like your mom and dad deserved each other.

      I’m sorry you had to go through that.

      Your being angry won’t change them or your past.

      Move forward. Stop looking back.

      My stepfather molested me. My mom stayed with him either after she was told about that.

      I would say that I have as much right to be angry at my parents as you do yours. Perhaps more so.

      But I moved forward. I forgave my mom. God ensured my stepfather suffered horribly before his death. Hence my faith, without being religious.  I found good men to have relationships with.

      1. 16.1.1
        DeeGee

        Karmic Equation said: “Your being angry won’t change them or your past. Move forward. Stop looking back.

        Good advice to everyone.
        A person who is being bitter about what hand life has dealt them will get them nowhere fast, and just makes them miserable to interact with.

    2. 16.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      There is no point in talking to a damaged and stubborn man who has his mind made up. But I’m a coach, so I can’t help myself.

      “Cultural marxism?” Really? I went to this page to learn more and couldn’t get through it. What I deduced is that “According to Chip Berlet, who specializes in the study of extreme right-wing movements, the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory found fertile ground with the development of the Tea Party movement in 2009, with contributions published in the American Thinker and WorldNetDaily highlighted by some Tea Party websites.” In other words, this is just your typical right wing conspiracy theory – as if the whole world is out to “destroy” Western cultural norms. What these “thinkers” haven’t considered is that a gay person coming out of the closet isn’t destroying a straight person. A woman getting equal pay isn’t destroying a man. An atheist who is not afraid to speak his mind is not destroying Christianity. Basically, proponents of this Cultural Marxism theory are trying to freeze time and revert to a world where minorities not only weren’t equal, but weren’t even seen or counted. It’s sad. It’s fear based. And it’s a thing of the past. Which is why you see so much right wing rage that the rest of the world has evolved and opened up and a plurality of opinions is now respected. Which is to say, Mike, that I respect your right to be a right winger. I respect your right to hate feminism. I respect your right to be alone for the rest of your life because of your issues. But you have no right to tell me – and everyone else – that we are “wrong” for thinking that women have the freedom to do whatever men do. Does this contribute to a more confusing dating marketplace? Of course. Changing gender roles come with equality. It just seems to me like you don’t want to adapt to women’s equality or these changing gender roles. So you do whatever you can to complain about them – raging on the internet about these wacky conspiracy theories to exonerate your myopic worldview.

      So here’s the deal, man:

      I don’t judge you for being this way. If anything, I feel bad for you. You believe every impotent word you type about how women and minorities and liberals are destroying our society. No, they’re not. They’re just becoming a part of it. And when women and minorities and liberals have the right to vote and marry and work and have sex the same as white men, it means that society is bound to change.

      You have two choices: keep raging against people who think differently against you on the internet – which does nothing tangible except make you feel “heard” by other frustrated and confused men. This is the path of least resistance. It’s also going to keep you angry and lonely for the rest of your life.

      The other choice, of course, is to listen to people like me, who take their time to correspond with you and treat you as if you’re a man with real fears and concerns. Hating women? Posting conspiracy theories? Trying to restrict the rights of women to do exactly what men have done forever? You’re on the losing side of history. Thus, your best bet is to adapt. Try not to demonize individuals who don’t agree with you. If you have a hard time dating, perhaps consider that very few women want to date men who have such disdain for women, same as women who hate men will struggle with dating as well. Literally every complaint you have about feminism could be echoed in women’s valid complaints about men.

      If you read this blog it’s OBVIOUS which people get it and which people don’t. The people who understand the opposite sex, validate their worldview, and don’t try to “change” an entire gender – they’re the ones who do well, connect with others, and find real lasting love. The people who come here to complain that the opposite sex sucks? They’ll be issuing the same complaints in five years – and finding all the evidence they need to support their one-sided, narrow-minded, glass half-empty point of view.

      Ball is in your court. Til then, I hope you get some therapy to break free of this raging negativity – regardless of whether you choose to fall in love again.

      Best,

      Evan

      1. 16.2.1
        Stacy

        Evan,

        This is why I LOVE your blog.

      2. 16.2.2
        Rebecca

        Amen!

  17. 17
    jon

    The thing that bothers me is that too often women use withholding sex as a weapon to maintain a guy’s attention and financial generosity.  Having sex is completely different to having an LTR.  A woman can wait to have sex with a guy to make sure she likes the guy enough to have sex.  But the mere act of having sex, does not guarantee a 20 year marriage, no matter what the fairy-tale books tell her.  If she really wants an LTR, take sex off the table, and maintain a platonic friendship.  If you can be platonic friends for a year, then a long-term marriage might work out.  A guy might do and say anything prior to having sex, but he might find her personality too annoying or boring to want to get married or stay monogamous.  He might want to marry a girl who’s more beautiful and attractive.

  18. 18
    Rebecca

    Jon, women aren’t “withholding” sex from you, because it’s not something you’re entitled to that they’re denying.  Women may choose not to trust you with their bodies and their feelings for a long list of reasons, but I’m betting the number of women who think that celibacy is the ticket to lots of free meals is rather smaller than the number of women who are just really turned off by men who see taking them out as an imposition.  How is your rage serving you?

    1. 18.1
      DeeGee

      If the relationship is good, the sex should be natural.
      It is something to be shared between them.  (Sharing or exchanging orgasms?  🙂 )

      That said, I do personally know some women who use “cutting off” their husband as a means of control.  And I’ve heard some women tell others that they should cut him off if he isn’t doing something that she wanted.

      For me, it’s a deal-breaker.  No woman (wife or girlfriend) I have been with has ever used it as a control, if they did, there would be a talk, and if it couldn’t be resolved amicably, it would be over.

    2. 18.2
      jon

      The OP seems to be witholding sex because she fears that if she has casual sex with a guy he will leave her.  She won’t call a man first because she fears it will lose her power.  She’s trying to keep up this facade of a power struggle in order to maintain her position with the upper hand.  Why not throw out all the Rules, and focus on creating an equal relationship based on equality, comfort and trust.  If she can maintain a friendship with a guy for several months, then she might be able to have a lasting relationship.  But its silly to think that monogamous sex will help her keep a guy if there is not mutual respect in the relationship.  Guys are no longer comfortable with patriarchy.  In fact, it might turn off a lot of women if the guy is too demanding and controlling on where to have dinner and when to make phone calls.  It makes the woman seem like a child without a mind of her own, thus requiring a man to decide everything in the relationship.

      1. 18.2.1
        Karl S

        Jon, I think the sex before exclusivity argument is really old ground here. I can definitely understand that rule being a necessity for women who need that level of trust and commitment before they get naked with another person. Sex is a game changer and it’s important to respect that.

        There are plenty enough other women who are comfortable getting know someone while also getting naked with you. I court those women because they fulfill my personal need to feel validated and desired sexually early on. I don’t think it’s an issue worth trying to convince people over if they’re not already game. It’s just a turn off then.

        That said, the idea that a woman can’t or shouldn’t text to say “Hey, there’s this play on in the city tomorrow. Wanna go?” Or “Let me take you to my favourite restaurant this time,” early on in the courting phase is baffling to me.

      2. 18.2.2
        Kyra

        I think also your use of the term “witholding sex” is indicative of a male entitlement. Men aren’t owed sex simply because they are dating someone. Men aren’t owed sex, period.

        She isn’t witholding sex from anyone. She is saving the act of being sexually intimate with someone she feels she can trust, depend on and create a meaningful relationship with. That was not this man. He wasn’t owed anything from her but her continued interest in dating until he stepped up and asked for exclusivity.

         

        1. jon

          Kyra, the OP is clearly playing power-games with this guy who is supposedly her front-runner guy.  She is using sex and non-initiating to create an imbalanced relationship.  Perhaps there never was much of a relationship to gain or lose.  But she was witholding her interest and sex.  Now, she is also making the mistake that a long-term relationship can be successful based on her power-games.  It just leads to alienation.  The man got fed up with her games and he chose to withold sex from her by dumping her because she was following these patriarchal rules.

      3. 18.2.3
        Kyra

        Well, you said it yourself, “Perhaps there never was much of a relationship to gain or lose.” Why, then, would you feel it would have been in her best interest to have sex with him if she felt that? Of course, we’re only speculating, but there was something in her that determined she wasn’t ready to have sex with this man. The fact that he walked away proves it to be true.

         

        I also find it curious that  you’ve labeled her being keeping her body and sexual itimacy for someone serious-minded as “playing games.”
        A man has the choice to commit when he’s ready. A woman has the choice to have sex when she’s ready. Neither should do or give either to the person they’re dating because that person feels it’s owed to them. These aren’t games, these are mature individuals making the correct, proper and necessary steps to move a relationship forward.

         

        You see sex as a goal that a keeper is blocking someone from. You see sex as the winning prize in a dating game. You also equate him deciding to no longer date her as “witholding sex.”

        I think it’s clear to see what is of the utmost importance to you in the relations between a man and a woman: sex: the giving and the taking of it.

        I think you’re also misusing the term “patriachal.” A patriarchy is a system of government or society that is controlled by men. What you’re insinuating, by this woman “witholding sex” from this man isn’t a patriarchy. If it were he would have been able to *take* sex from her when he decreed it time in their dating relationship for him to take it/be owed it.

        Dating habits are in place for a reason. A woman should call/contact a man no more than 1-out-of-3 times HE has initiated calling/contacting her. You said it yourself in another comment, a woman that contacts you overwhelmingly is a turn-off/red flag. It is in a woman’s best interest to allow the man to contact/call, move the dating relationship forward and, at the same time, move the sexual intimacy of their relationship forward.

        If this man was steadily calling her once a week for four months, never requesting to see her more than that, not calling her his girlfriend, and seeing other women then, well, you can insinuate as you have been that HE was playing games just as much as she was. And, therefore, she should play the same game.

        In your vernacular, he “witholds” committment, she “witholds” sex. It’s a crude and linear way to communicate it, but I think that seems to be the only way you can understand what seemed to have gone on with this scenario.

        However, if she felt he was adequatley moving the relationship foward in a way that made her feel comfortable, trusting, attracted, safe and that she was in a committed, monogaous relations then she should feel free to both call/contact with him and have sex with him.

        He didn’t do that. You can call “playing games.” Others of us all it using your wits in dating and giving your body to someone who hasn’t truly earned that special relationship level with you.

        1. jon

          Kyra, I do understand what you are saying, but I am merely pointing out that men can have 2 completely separate standards for (1) just sex or (2) a long-term relationship.  Nothing is ever guaranteed and women are not guaranteed commitment or monogamy after sex.  Women do make an emotional connection and decide on monogamy before sex.  The only thing that can be guaranteed in a romantic relationship is that sex will happen at least once, but a second time may occur soon, months later, or never.  Monogamy is also a cultural decision and lifestyle choice.  Monogamy may be unnatural or impossible for people who travel or serve in foreign countries.  Men can have higher standards for monogamy such as financial situation and personality compatibility and lifestyle compatibility.  We do live in an independent modern society, and everyone has a value on their own time.  For whatever reason, a man might want more in a monogamous relationship, such as he might want the woman to cook for him in exchange for his time spent with her.  Monogamy is not just about having more sex, it requires more time and more money that some men are willing to give.  Men usually have the same standards for monogamy and marriage, specifically with finding a suitable wife.  You might have to ask yourself if a man wants you as a wife, and that may better help you date those type of men who can potential see you as a wife.  If a woman really needs a man, that may be a sign of a patriarchal relationship and a desire for Traditional gender roles.  Some people are just looking for sex, but other people are looking for a husband-figure or a wife-figure.  Other people have a more hippie-free love mind-set due to women’s liberation from housewifery.

  19. 19
    Josie

    Karl,

    Thanks you for being a generally rational male voice in the sea of wackiness here.

    My experience dating over the past few years has been that MANY men will do anything in their power to rush a relationship along to sex.  I thoroughly enjoy sex and I miss it quite a bit at the moment . I have had plenty of fun casual sex with men I do not feel  attached to.  But things are different when I’m falling in love….  And maybe this is the key difference between the sexes, but the physical act of sex leads to an assumption of emotional intimacy and vulnerability when I am with a man who I can picture an exclusive future with.  Most men who start having sex in the early dating stages, in my experience, will verbally advance the relationship, telling her stuff she wants to hear (future faking) so she lets her guard down and the sex keeps flowing.  Especially as women enter mid life, late 30s or 40s, this has happened to them time and again.

    Now…If I feel myself falling in love with a man, I have to feel safe emotionally before sex can happen.

    1. 19.1
      Grace

      Josie, you nailed it. For myself, I do have the ability to have nsa sex without wanting to see a date again. However, with dates who genuinely interest me long term, I’ve learned that sex tends to destroy the emotional aspect. Men WILL lie and say they want exclusivity just to lock a woman down –not because they truly like her.  The only way to weed out the users is not to rush intimacy until you feel comfortable.

  20. 20
    Chrissy

    I recently ended a one year relationship.  I am a bit torn with my feelings and I am not sure if I did the right thing.  He is a great father and has full custody of his children every other week. The alternative weeks he made sure he spent every evening with me unless a work trip or activity required his presence. We share alot in common and had strong mutual attraction for each other. We shared our feelings of interest in love which is why I kept going for a year. .. He acted and told me that he loved me..

    The negatives were huge, he never once invited me to his home. I believed him when he said he was embarrassed and that it was a mess so he didn’t want me to see it. He called me maybe 20 times in the  year. All other communication was by text or email during the day and weeks he had his children.  I read several blogs while dating him, some said let him come to you and don’t mind the not calling because its all part if the new age in technology. I followed and did not call him often, only texted since he was at work or with the kids.

    About 3 weeks ago I told him about a cold case that I looked into. I was abducted and sexually assaulted 32 years ago. I told him because not only was a ready to and wanted him to know more about me but I was stressed after reopen ing.  When i told him we were texting because he was in Europe for business.  He made no effort to pick up the phone and call me knowing i was upset.

    Last week he had a birthday. I took him away for the weekend and then dinner with him and his kids the night before. The actually day of his birthday I didn’t make plans because first he was with his children.  I had also heard back from the detective two days earlier..all of the evidence had been destroyed in my case, there was nothing they could do.

    I chose to go to the gym so he could hang with his kids. He was quiet the next day and I found out he was very mad at me for not meeting after the gym. I know this is alot of detail, I am sorry.

    After he basically stopped contacting me unless I initiated contact.  He said I never call him, yet he set the pace I feel. We were supposed to take a vacation together this week and he just dropped out of the plan.  I wouldn’t have known he wasn’t going if I hadn’t asked. I feel that the case was too much for him to handle because he changed afterwards. He spins everything around to be my fault so I was confused but when I stepped away from it this week. I realized that he is not and has not been there for me unless it was fun times. I shouldn’t have doubts in breaking it off…

     

  21. 21
    Stacy

    Crissy,

    You said, ‘The negatives were huge, he never once invited me to his home…’

    ‘He called me maybe 20 times in the year’

    After you being abducted AND sexually assaulted…’He made no effort to pick up the phone and call me knowing i was upset.”

    ‘After he basically stopped contacting me unless I initiated contact’

    ‘He spins everything around to be my fault’

    Answer? Yes, you did the right thing and should have broken up with him. Like Evan says, ignore the positives, believe the negatives.

     

    1. 21.1
      Chrissy

      Thank you Stacey!! I’ve made a list of the negatives to revisit when I’m feeling weak. He lives about a mile from me so unfortunately I’m sure I will see him around town.

  22. 22
    Sabine

    I think the fact she let him go shows she has her stuff together.  She doesn’t seem needy/clingy and this gave him the real space he needed. It was on his terms.  He was also a great guy and it seems that the reason they parted was the fact he needed space and only that.  If he does it again, no take backs 🙂

    If a man really wants to be with you, he will find you.  It’s not game playing.  He is going after what he wants.  And, if I give someone my number and they don’t call, that’s on them.

    I personally don’t chase guys.  When I am with a man, he knows how I feel and if he chooses to move on, he moves on.  I don’t want to be with someone who does not want to be with me as much as I want to be with him. That hurts more than not being with them at all.

  23. 23
    Keke

    Evan,

    What happened with the client you mentioned upthread?

    Did they live happily ever after or did one of them call it quits after they got together the second time?

    Keke

  24. 24
    Leticia

    Never let the same person fool you twice!

  25. 25
    Lisa

    I guess as this letter writer I would want to know why he pulled away.  While she says she stopped seeing other men and started to have feelings for him I see nowhere where she told him that or asked for a committment?  Certainly he could have felt a shift in her without words and gotten freaked out, but how does she know that?  For all she know he was seeing another woman the whole time and decided to be exclusive with her and she turned him down or it did not work out.  There would be nothing wrong with that since they were not exclusive but it would matter to me!  Did he really miss me AND is he coming back to make a commitment to me because I don’t think expecting a committment after 4 months is unreasonable or is she the second choice and going back to the same non committal situation as before?  I think she needs to ask him what happened and what was going on.  It could be as simple as he was under some stress at work or something totally unrelated to her.  I think your example with your client is different because the man told her why he ended it and that it made him realize her error and this makes sense here we don’t know.  I am okay with a second chance  if the person was honest and respectful no cheating or lying but only a second after that no more.

  26. 26
    Hildegerd

    What to do?
    You must certainly do not let them into your life again.

  27. 27
    sarah kirk

    Kate’s story is depressing.  She is massively over-analysing and she is also putting too much trust in you Evan Marc Katz!  This man she has been pinning her hopes on sounds like he is not that interested and that she has put him off by her transparent game plaing and angling or ‘exclusivity’.  If a man is into you the exclusivity will just be there.  One doesn’t have to ask for it.  It will be a given.  She is really over thinking this.  I honestly think that if she just did what is in her heart, instead of trying to play these games all the time, she’d ultimately end up a great deal happier.  This debate about who should initiate and who shouldn’t is pretty much  fruitless.  If something is going to work it will,  and if not it won’t. It really is that simple.  What this woman is effectively trying to do is to control the man.  Which is what men hate.  He is not stupid, I’m sure he is well able to read her rather transparent machinations, game playing and reliance on an online ‘expert’ for what it is;  hugely insecure behaviour.  And that is what is putting him off.  She should trust in herself and listen to her gut feelings instead of thinking there is a better ‘answer’ or ‘strategy’ to be found on the web.  That is all bollocks.  If a man likes you he will make it very obvious and you will respond and simply be happy with that.

  28. 28
    Laine

    I wouldnt take him back  Kate if I were you, unless he is prepared to be your boyfriend this time around.

  29. 29
    Been there

    I disagee with Evan on this one. She should not let this guy back in. Period. Why? This sounds like a classic case of a guy who was either entertaining another woman at same time (Kate states she traveled for work) and they werent yet intimate. My guess is he was dating another, probably had sex with her and decided to pursue that option but it didnt work out for whatever reason. Now he is back for option b, Kate.

    Guys do this all the time. My point is, if a guy is that into you, regardless of his past or ANYTHING else, he will take the leap.

    Besides, who would want to be with a Mr. Wishy-washy? No doubt he is like this in other aspects of his life as well.

     

     

  30. 30
    Lisa

    I think this writers case is a bit different than the one you describe in your response.  In the case you describe the man told your client he was having a hard time getting over his ex and maybe was not ready and that makes sense it’s a reasonable explanation for his behavior and had no reflection on her or their level of compatibility.  He liked her a lot and thought they were compatible he was just a bit gun shy.  And when he returned he immediately stepped up and became her boyfriend.  In the writers case the man outright said she was not what he wanted so why now is she?  And he also did not come back stepping up to the plate as a boyfriend.  They had seemingly been seeing each other for long enough for him to move forward and be exclusive.  Sadly I suspect he too was dating around while they were together, nothing wrong with that, but he decided that one of the other girls was the front runner and chose her and ended things with the writer. Now maybe he realized he made the wrong choice and missed the writer I would be more okay with that.  But it also could be that that girl dumped him or did not want the same and he’s coming crawling back to the writer his second choice.  I naively fell for this a few times when I first did online dating because I did not realize how common it was.  If she takes him back she needs to ask him what his change of heart was based on.  And she needs to not let this go on too long again without commitment.

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