Guys Fall in Love With Me Waaay Too Quickly. What Can I Do To Slow Things Down?

Guys Fall in Love With Me Waaay Too Quickly

Dear Evan,

This is a problem I’ve had ever since I can remember and I know I’m not alone. I tend to attract men who put me on a very high pedestal from which I eventually fall, very hard and very fast. I’m guessing this is because I have some attractive qualities (intelligence, exotic features), and because I fit into a few different categories, which makes it easy for some men to fantasize about me. Then once they get to know the ‘real’ me and realize that I don’t fit the image of the idea woman they’ve projected on me, they dump me. I’m sure that part of their reason for ending it is that I’m going through an insecure period in my life and this is unattractive. Also my insecurity makes me vulnerable to being admired. But I can’t take all the blame. Sometimes their passion is so ridiculously over the top from the start that I’m really at a loss as to where it came from or how to rein it in and, if I’m interested in something long-term, how to turn it into something tenable. I’ve tried telling them that they can’t possibly be in love with me after a week or a month, or I try to slow it down but they’re so aggressive about their admiration, so sure about their affection that they ignore what I say. Plus I don’t force them to slow it down as much as I should because of my insecurity or my own passionate feelings. Then, of course, the moment comes when I fall off the pedestal, which is pretty painful, even when I see it coming. So how do I bring a guy back down to earth the moment I see he’s idealizing me? And if I see long-term potential in a guy how do I get past the pedestal stage? Again: my telling him that he can’t possibly know me doesn’t seem to make a difference. So what can I do to gain some control over the situation? Should I for instance refuse to be in a relationship with the person until they know me as a friend? Should I immediately list all my faults for them (maybe a spreadsheet might help)? How do I get them to see the real me rather than blindly opening my heart to them, hoping that this time things will be different? And by the way, it never is—I always think I’ve finally met the exception but I’m always wrong.


Which just goes to reinforce my same old point about chemistry – it’s an illusion, a projection, and a fantasy.

No spreadsheets, Kara. But everything else you’re saying really does strike a chord.

I discussed how difficult dating could be for attractive women last year, but this situation is different. Because you’re not complaining about men being intimidated by you; you’re complaining that their heads are in the clouds. And rightfully so. Which just goes to reinforce my same old point about chemistry – it’s an illusion, a projection, and a fantasy. It’s not that the feeling isn’t real or amazing; it’s that it’s so powerful as to blind you to reality. Chemistry is what allows women to put up with abusive, non-committal men, and what allows men to put up with selfish, high-maintenance women.

Alas, you can’t help it when someone feels chemistry for you. All you can do is attempt to manage it realistically.

Your observation about a man putting you up on a pedestal is reminiscent of my own Pedestal Principle, which I explain in Volume 4 of Finding the One Online: “Once you put someone up on a pedestal, he is immediately looking down at you.” Talk about a lose/lose scenario. Not only do you feel uncomfortable being idealized, but you lose respect for the person idealizing you.

“Once you put someone up on a pedestal, he is immediately looking down at you.”

Your instincts about how to handle this, Kara, seem to be admirable. You remind all of our readers that beautiful women have a really hard time connecting with men because men are so blinded by their beauty that they can’t see the rest of the picture clearly. What these men don’t understand is that beautiful women don’t want fans or admirers; they want partners to see them, in full, as they are. I learned this the hard way – having put a woman up on a pedestal for upwards of 15 years. She not only lost her attraction to me, but it took me many years and a lot of heartbreak to realize that she wasn’t as great as I thought she was. She even TOLD me this, but I wouldn’t listen. So I really get the concept behind wanting to offer full disclosure about your imperfections as soon as possible. However, full disclosure is inorganic and clunky. You don’t tell someone on date 1 that you’re on Prozac or that you’re prone to fits of jealousy. Such things are revealed in the dating process so that they’re more easily digested.

But no matter how you play it, Kara, it will take a special guy to handle you – one who is not blinded by beauty, or rendered foolish in the face of brilliance. This man will reveal himself in how gracefully he treats you – not in how much he kisses your ass when he’s out to dinner with you. Any man who starts with the pedestal stuff will immediately eliminate himself. As for your role in this – I would give you the same advice I just gave to my amazing intern: be a woman. A real, stand-up, authentic, no-longer-a-girl, honest-to-goodness woman. It’s not about being in control, or putting your cards out on the table, or setting arbitrary rules on the pace of your relationship. It’s about communicating fearlessly, because you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

When a guy starts to get all ga-ga; you let him know that you think he’s amazing, but ga-ga’s not going to work. You’ll lose respect for him and you don’t want to do that. Ask him to treat you the way he’d treat his best girl friend. With respect and kindness and chivalry. Ask him to go slow – not because you’re unattracted to him – but because you have seen your own tendency to dive in fast. The right guy will play it at your pace because he has something very real to gain.

Still, not every guy will pass this test of treating you as an equal. And when they don’t, you must be strong enough to walk away from these dead-end scenarios – forgoing the ego boost of having an admirer – and investing your time only in men who know what to do with a beautiful woman.

Trust me, there are a few of us left…

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  1. 61

    I’ve had these same issues. Guys who act like I’m the best thing in the world, blonde, well traveled, educated, attractive. Then they don’t call? I ask why, they say they’re not up to my standards and I’m intimidating. I’m in my 50’s now. Guys my age don’t want to pursue or work hard. I was dating a guy I met online, he took his profile off before we met, he was sure I was the one. He instantly wanted a relationship, give me a key, move in together. Everything was heavenly for five weeks. We got in one argument, he disappeared.

    Its all so frustrating, discouraging. I date a lot. They like my looks, humor, personality, put me on a pedestal, I fall for some, then it doesn’t last? I’m ready to give up. Maybe I try too hard?

  2. 62

    I have this exact same problem. I believe it is my fault. I do not have healthy enough boundaries and it is easy to spot and easy to take advantage of. The guy gets interested. We go out on a date or two – instead of keeping it cool and fun – it ends up getting way too personal, too close and too quickly (I don’t mean physical, although that can happen to people if not careful). Also, just kissing a guy – when I kiss – I can’t do so without putting my soul into it. I wish I didn’t actually. Or else basically I should only kiss the guy if I am 100% sure about him and his character and a possible future. But, I have been single for years and literally without physical contact from a man in 5 years – so this really screws me up when I am into someone and just trying to enjoy that closeness. It easily turns into my hormones raging and lots of kissing. It happened recently and I regret it. I’m not prude. But it seems its gotten to the point where I really feel I give myself – even in a kiss – and I want it to be given to the right man – not just out of lust but something deeper. So for that reason, I feel bad. Besides that, I have tried to clearly state that my intentions are to have fun and take it easy – basically almost saying I want friends with benefits. Guys say ok and they get it. But, it seems a game of push and pull (one I don’t want to play) because I am busy I am not into texting and calling constantly – it makes him want to do it more and more and more – and he does literally plan our lives and futures together right away – a big fantasy land of crap. Sorry I am cynical. I do not want fantasies anymore. I want reality. I need to take control over my behavior and not allow things to happen quickly or get close quickly. It is in my nature to be so open and share openly about myself and listen nonjudgementally to others – maybe that is something to do with this situation. So they begin to tell me personal stuff and I am so open about it generally if someone wants to know, I share also – but maybe that is not the best method when dating.

  3. 63

    Oops. I have one more thing to add to this. I forgot the letter mentioned that they “fall in love with her” and then leave her or stop contact and dump her, etc. For me, I get super overwhelmed with dating when this happens. I get a lot of anxiety and will end it before it even really begins if the man is over the top and has planned our lives out together and is sending me ridiculous texts all day and night. I am not interested in that and it causes me stress. My family thinks I don’t give guys a chance, but I am not interested in men like that. Also, I haven’t had the experience for them to just love me and get rid of me – because I end it before they can continue on with their love fantasy. Once I know what is going on I then stop it. I have tried to stop it and continue on with them but it’s not like you can change someone and their takes time and effort on their part if they personally realize what they are doing and then have to work on making the changes. I need to make some changes myself.

  4. 64

    I have been talking to this man on the phone about 1month now.we haven’t met.he’s already idealized me to how he think I should be.we had this discussion in a nice he’s shutting me bothers me I just want to go slow.

  5. 65

    I clicked on this one not because I think I’m amazing hot stuff, but because I’ve recently gotten back into dating and have noticed this huge, fast leap from men…too fast, too sure, too attracted…and I get so angry because I know they can’t back it up. I think they’re a little crazy and wonder how females get the “too emotional” title.  Sometimes I wish I could just have an intervention with them to reconnect them with dating reality…where 99.9% of the people you meet are not your future spouse…and how you think you can predict a future only a couple dates and phone calls in, is aggravating…because I know this hot/cold game…one day you’re the best thing to happen to them and the next, they’ve disappeared and your heart breaks, because you just started to get interested. Ugh. Venting. Lol

    1. 65.1

      April said: “I’ve recently gotten back into dating and have noticed this huge, fast leap from men…too fast, too sure, too attracted …”

      Is this perhaps because so many men are being taught that the only way they can get women is to be hunters, pickup artists, pursuers, …

    2. 65.2

      I had one buy me a book as a surprise the first time we met. I also asked if he could give me a ride if he was in the area, and he left his job! I got so freaked out i gave him the cold shoulder and he got really angry with me. I told him he came off way to strong and I wanted to be friends. Then  claimed that he wasn’t trying to be romantic. God!

  6. 66

    This is good advice. I feel wounded after the last guy so I feel very strange these days when men go “gung ho.” I like the ones who are low key. I’m a size 18 right now, and well, guys do like that despite the claims that men only want thin women. I am attractive, been called “gorgeous,” “beautiful,” and “pretty.” In fact sometimes I’ve seen their eyes glaze over into this kind of stupor when I’m talking to them, and I become afraid. Beauty is great for hustling, but not for finding a man. You get a shitload of innapropriate suitors, especially the ones who want Miss Right Now.

  7. 67

    That’s very sound advice though I feel one important thing has been overlooked here.

    There are lot’s of good men out there that do have a tendency to wear their heart on their sleeve & all men do ‘live in the moment’ however, there are also ‘predators’ out there, ones who will prey on your weaknesses and vulnerabilities for their own gain and those that ‘act now, think later’ which can explain the reason for some, the total u-turn in their feelings.

    By your own admission you have said that you are currently dealing with insecurities of your own. (Good for you for having the self awareness and courage to admit that by the way.)  So, I would suggest that in order to stand a better chance of  weeding out those that do mean you and any potential relationship harm in whatever guise other than coming from a place of honesty and openness, that you spend time dealing with whatever insecurities you have first because predators can smell insecurities from a mile off and will waste no time trying to sweep you off your feet with their over- the-top gestures and faux declarations of love. This also ensures that you yourself are not an unwitting magnet that attracts these kinds of men and we do attract what we put out whether consciously or unconsciously. I hope this helps as you continue on your journey through life.

    Lot’s of love and very best wishes to you Kara x

  8. 68

    She is obviously co-dependent.  I am co-dependent and every guy falls madly in love with me too quickly because I am subconsciously attracting that type of douche bag.  It is SO subconscious.  We think real relationships are boring.  Real relationships practically disgust me they seem so boring.  But I am tired of the drama and the “passion”, it’s all just lust.  Co-dependents like me attract guys with our “exotic” charms, we seem “different than all the rest” but it is all a show orchestrated by our subconcious …that’s why WE cannot keep the relationship going because we want to come out with our real selves but we choose men who “love” us for the false mask we put on to attract them in the first place, then we eventually want out of the relationship because we never really liked the guy in the first place, we just wanted his admiration.  I mean look at what she is saying, IT KEEPS HAPPENING OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO HER….the common denominator being HER.  Co-dependency…a tricky thing…

  9. 69

    45 year old single mother here having the same problem with 45 – 55 year old men.

    They don’t hear when I say I’m not perfect and that’s too early (usually 2nd date) for loving someone they just met. Their “love” actually freaks me out and scares me away.

    And I’m no Victoria Secret model…

  10. 70

    I can relate to this completely, so much I started wondering what is so wrong with me. It’s always been like that, guys put me on a pedestal as to think I’m the perfect woman for them, and as they get to really know me the feeling goes away… really they just wake up one day and change. It really hurts me because even if I try to take things slow, I start to feel something, and then they just get tired of me. And it is always in the same way: we’re going out for some time, at first I’m the one who is a little distant but still I’m always sweet and kind to everyone and that’s what they say that there’s about me… they say I’m “different” somehow… but then I start to fall in love and we get really cute and are both supposedly falling for each other and one day it is gone and I’m left wondering what have I done wrong. The worst part is that every single time I meet someone new that I like I get more and more insecure because I know that it’s not gonna last, at some point they’ll leave… and they always do.

    I really wonder if there’s gonna be anyone who decides to stay and like me for me.

  11. 71
    Liz Miriam

    What do you all mean, where are all the good guys? There are everywhere. I have too many options and they all want a long term or marriage with me. My trouble is choosing the one I fancy and can love. I’m 45, look about 35 but no great beauty. Just take care of myself and love me and treat them kindly but don’t let them take me for granted. I never chase men, I think I’ve just gone lazy and selfish and interested in my own life more than any man. I used to be married to an abusive narcissist who took me for granted and nothing I did was ever enough.  He robbed me blind and abandoned me with his own kids (thank God he’s gone). I may be a tad cynical now but there’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first. And any man who wants to be in my life has to prove he’s worthy and work for the privilege. Or he’s free to leave. None of them wanna leave. They compete with each other and try to do outdo one another in impressing me. And somehow I feel very ok with that lol. They are all at least 8-10 years younger than me as well. I think it’s a combination of having had enough of crap in my life and just becoming confident in my own skin that makes me comfortable to lean back and let men be men. And having read a few of these relationship books and articles on a site like this that really helps to bring out the best in men, and in me. I’m not complaining and thank God for how things worked out. I don’t sleep with any of them btw and they still stick around. I will choose the best performing man and marry him and then he can have full access to me. And at my age, I definitely know what I’m doing so with me any guy will become a stud, no doubt. I think a shift in how you see yourself makes a huge difference. Kissing is fine

  12. 72
    Kelly Heykoop

    I can relate to this alot…guys fall head over heels for me …quick, really quick, like i was just in vegas n got proposed to the next morning after i met this guy n almost got married n he proceeded to stay tjere w me, my daughter n my mom for 3 days…knowing enough abput the favt that i have a boyfriend back home, we live across the counrty from eachother…its crazy…then my bf is just as in love with me. Completely puts me on a pedestal…and constantly tells me howuch he misses me n loves me…its just tooo much most tje time when i donf feel the same way…n when i find someone that i feel like that about i either get hurt or end up doing something dumb n ruining the whole thing.  Ugh life is tough. My only thought of why its like this is because im an Empath n i connevt w ppl on another level that i think attracts them to me in a way theyve never felt n cant describe cu since i can remember giys have alwYs told me theres something about me they xant explain that drives them nuts…its cuz i know how they feel n to an extent what they r rhinking so i can be there for them without them asling n do things before they know what they need. Its cool for the most part. I duno just wanted to share all that.

  13. 73

    Oh wow!!! This opened my eyes to alot of my relationship problems!!! The pedestal, the falling in love too fast or obsessed!! And the fall outs, they love you so much one week and hate you the next and want nothing to do with you, but we’re the ones who are crazy!!!! And sometimes, I have ex’s come out of nowhere regretting the break up. Either I got more prettier, or they’re really sincere, but I never believed them anyway. I am 41. I never thought I was beautiful till I took a good look at myself and constantly being told by friends that I am. But I’m also down to earth and have the personality to even attract a female. I have alot of friends, male and female. I get so frustrated!! No one loves me unconditionally and I don’t know why. Maybe it is me!! I once had a friend tell me the other night that she liked hanging out with me cuz I’m attractive and I bring all the men…..go figure!

    1. 73.1

      I don’t believe in unconditional romantic love, but I do believe in unconditional parental love.  Everyone should have standards and a level of respect that if broken would be a deal breaker or relationship ending issue.  For me it’s violence.  No matter how much I might love a man, if ever he hits me in violence, it’s over.  That’s like saying I hate you and never want to see you again.

  14. 74

    I think it’s a bit of an assumption to jump straight to the conclusion that Kara’s ‘attractive qualities’  are just about looks. I think there’s a lot to be said about your attitude and the energy you give off and how you strike that strong/vulnerable balance. If you come across as desirable and intriguing yet vulnerable, this seems to tap into some basic instinct in men. Being put on a pedestal is a crazy wonderful and then incredibly painful experience so it’s brilliant that you recognise it. It took me a while.

    I’d say I’m about a 6 on the attractive scale, but I have men “fall in love” with me a lot. Often when they’ve only just met me a few hours, or even minutes before. I’m curious and a bit of a dreamer. I ask unexpected questions. I forget stuff, tending to get distracted by something new rather than finishing the task at hand. I care about people and kindness is one of my driving values. But I also have a great job and am intelligent. I tick a lot of desirable boxes being an attractive, intelligent woman, but my dreamer side means that I seem unattainable and that they also think they can protect me, fix me and help lead the way which is what really puts me on the pedestal, not my looks. I think they see me as an escape for whatever pent up emotions they have. Then, when I’ve already fallen for them, completely trust them and have gotten used to their ‘protection’… they start running away (after a few months or even a few years). What I’ve learnt is to never let a man think that just because I get lost in my thoughts, forget things or feel emotions strongly that they need to be the solution to that or be my protector, because even if that seems so romantic and wonderful at first, it will eventually turn into frustration that I’m not changing (from just being me), to resentment, to indifference… all the while I’m just being myself, loving this man and not realising this is happening until I get a massive heartbreak. It’s a pattern to break. I hate the idea of co-dependency, because I always wonder how a successful, intelligent woman could fall into such an obvious trap, but I’ve realised that it’s because I attract people who want to fix me when I don’t need fixing at all.

    I’m not entirely sure how to spot the genuine ones, but I’m ready to trust my instinct! (and if they start turning up at my flat with tools to start fixing stuff the second time they stay over, yes that happened, then I’m going to kiss them, say thank you for the gesture and kindly let them know that I will ask for their help when I need it).

  15. 75

    This is for men and women. If you do make this common mistake, is it possible to rectify it with the person of your affections. Especially if you genuinely care about them.

  16. 76
    Carri Jones

    This is quite a circular and redundant AND flat out futile discourse.  Test them…I get it. For how long??????  I was stoked when I ran acRoss this blog.  Torn between being confused by being admittedly insecure as o WHY men are enamored so quickly v I will sound supremely conceited if ever spoke with anyone on the issue.


    At any rate, my consluson is not so philosophical.  Whether you’re Susan from accounting or Natasha with 3 PhD’s and a modeling contract…

    How to express your true self and also manage relationship growth…


  17. 77

    Fascinating article. I’ve been seeing a lot of this behaviour from men particularly recently, not just towards me, but watching male friends online and their antics.

    Feeling in love is addictive and I think men who date a lot get addicted to those feelings, more than women who are looking for the long-term stable ‘safe’ feelings more often. For these guys, the feelings tend to dissipate, as Evan and folks here have pointed out, as soon as the woman becomes a real flesh and blood human being. She always knew she was, but the guy projected fantasies. Sex and all that is never going to live up to such insanely high expectations. Also post-sex guys often have a flat moment, then reality kicks in, the momentum plummets, just as the woman is starting to feel attached!

    For the record, it’s not about being provocative or dressing provocatively. Speaking for myself I’m markedly unprovocative and don’t have the usual ‘look at me’ pics on social media. In fact I use the less glam, make-up free pics of myself. And you won’t get a hint of boobage either!

    The thing is, for a guy who’s addicted to being in love, the chase, or some sort of narcissistic ego hit, the more you’re a challenge, or talented, charismatic etc, the more you’re a prize obviously. You’ll find such guys obsessing over your achievements, and it feels different from someone who just takes a normal intellectual interest. You can tell it’s about the obsessive guy’s view of you as a prize or conquest, it feels excessive.

    Also for the record, asking a guy like this to slow down will just get him him more obsessed, that’s your red light there – a respectful guy will back down, not escalate.

    Basically excess is the thing to look out for. Someone with his head screwed on and his ‘ducks in a row’ as they say, will pace himself, because he has self respect. If you value and enjoy your life and sanity you don’t risk it by indulging in extremes. There’s something ‘throwaway’ about love/sex addiction, like the person doesn’t respect their life, and they want to be overcome, overwhelmed – to lose themselves because they don;t like themselves, or their lives. Just look at how many alcoholics behave this way, the root is in depression or similar.

    Same goes for women too. Though men are more likely to use sex/falling in love addiction as a distraction from pain. I think all of us, male and female can be very susceptible to the charms of someone falling hard for us, it’s exhilarating, until you learn the lesson the hard way.  Just watch out for the excessive behaviour.

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