How Do I Avoid Clingy and Desperate Men?

How Do I Avoid Clingy and Desperate Men

This may not seem like a problem to some women, but for me it is. When I am dating, I like to really take my time and get to know someone before I put any “name” on what we’re doing. It’s just having fun with someone, getting to know him, and see where things go. (I believe it’s called dating.)

There were a few men in the past several months that I liked. They were nice and I could see an eventual relationship coming of our dating. Here is the problem I’ve had…we go out once (maybe twice) and have a good time. There’s some kissing involved (but no sex). We make plans to go out again. Over the next several days he calls me constantly, starts talking about wanting a commitment from me, about our future together, and basically freaks me out from wanting to even go out with him again. (And yes, this has happened at least three times recently.) I understand liking me and wanting to spend time with me, and hoping that things will go further.  What I don’t understand is why they get so obsessive.

I’m a divorced mother with two young children, but I am not looking for someone to “rescue” me. I do want to be in a relationship, with the right person, and I do want to be married again. However, I am not going to jump into something so quickly that I am blindsided. Are these men just so desperate that they don’t understand the fundamentals of dating? Any way I can avoid this in the future? It seems to be happening to me a lot recently.


Dear Leah,

Yeah, it’s a drag when a guy says he really likes you and makes a supreme effort to see you. I’m sure all the women who are waiting by the phone for their dates to call are feeling particularly bad for you.

I kid, Leah, because it’s about as ironic as any dating situation can be. We want people to be real, authentic, and emotionally available, yet we cringe and we flee when they are.

I wouldn’t say this is the height of hypocrisy, because I don’t know how you get when you really like a guy. Maybe you never get excited and let down your guard. But imagine you did. It would be a shame if a man distanced himself from you precisely BECAUSE you said you liked him.

What it really comes down to, Leah, is timing. You keep finding guys who are ready to take the plunge, you dazzle them on a date or two, and you listen to them start gabbing about rings and honeymoons. That has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. They want to be married soon. You do not. That’s perfectly fair. But imagine the shoe was on the other foot.

Let’s say that you were 39, single, and childless. You meet a great guy. It wouldn’t be too unreasonable for you to get excited about him being the future father of your children. Of course, if he’s already a father of two, and also recently divorced, he might not be ready to dive back into a committed relationship. That’s nobody’s fault. That’s simply two good people who may be compatible, but are not a good fit at the time.

I’m particularly glad you wrote this email because it’s useful to hear from a woman who just not that into HIM. It goes to show that, as abhorrent as we find the concept of “game-playing”, sometimes a little game playing is exactly what is necessary to keep the fire burning.

When someone makes himself too accessible, too willing to jump into a relationship, we question him. We wonder how anyone could like us this much this soon. We immediately devalue those people. But when we’re crazy about someone and show it, we want that person to reciprocate. Can’t we just be REAL with each other? Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Apparently, it’s not….

I remember a woman that I went on a date with about seven years ago. At the end of the night, she said to me, “I’m glad to have you in my life”. We’d had fun, but after three hours, I wasn’t yet “in her life”. So I did what most people would never do. I told her that I thought she was great, but that she might want to hold back on the big proclamations until we get to know each other better. I told her that because I liked her so much, I didn’t want to get scared off by her intensity. Class act that she was, she took it in stride, and we remained friends for years after dating.

Needless to say, that’s not going to work for everyone, but I think an authentic conversation is a lot better than dropping every guy like a hot potato the second he tells you he’s interested.

Let’s face it: It can be hard to keep your feelings below the surface when they’re just bursting to get out. But take it from readers like Leah: full disclosure is like polyamory. It may sound great in theory, but in doesn’t work in practice.


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  1. 61
    Sparkling Emerald

    Personally, I think when someone complains that the other is “clingy” or “desperate” (no matter which gender is complaining that the other is “clingy”) it just means that there is an imbalance in feelings of affection. I’ve only felt that way about guys I really wasn’t that into. I wouldn’t mind daily contact from someone I was really into. From someone I’m only feeling luke warm about, I would probably feel smothered. When the feelings of affection are mutual, no one complains about the other person being clingy or desperate.

    1. 61.1

      So true Sparkling Emerald. I think we also date/love differently. It could just be conflicting styles. I have been thinking a lot about communications of needs, styles, wants lately.

      1. 61.1.1

        I think you’re onto the root cause of this issue, Julia. As I understand now, my ex and I had completely different, what they call “love languages”. Whenever I take any of the tests to find out what mine is, the result is always “action”. I’m guessing his is a combination of quality time and touch. So when we were together, I admit that he often came across as clingy to me. I’d have things to do around the house, and instead of showing his love by doing these things with me (like I said, action), he would (the way I saw it) not even let me do anything and instead insist on me holding hands with him all day like he was five years old. Whereas he probably saw me as cold as detached, using house projects as excuses to slack off on spending quality time together.

        Of course it didn’t help that none of us really knew anything about languages of love, or even if we knew about them, none of us realized how important it was to understand them in each other.

        I can now totally see how someone whose primary language of love is touch or quality time, can come across as clingy or needy to someone with a different primary language. Even if their attraction is mutual and at the same level.

        1. Sparkling Emerald

          I am beginning to think that the problem with relationships isn’t our differences, (we all have them) but how we regard them. I think some differences would make 2 people inherently incompatible (such as a polyamourous and a monogamous person) or someone who wanted kids and someone who did not. But many differences could be bridged, if BOTH people were willing to navigate those differences RESPECTFULLY, and not judge the other person as “Clingy” or “Needy”. Why label and judge, why not look at it as the other person has some DIFFERENT needs and wants than you. Chances are you also have some overlapping wants and needs as well.

        2. Goldie

          This is in reply to Sparkling below.

          Of course I didn’t come out and call him clingy, I am not that immature. We talked about it, I acknowledged his need for quality time, and tried my best to meet it. Turns out, I don’t do intense quality time very well. It physically wears me out, especially on top of my other responsibilities. Towards the end of our time together, I was like a zombie, and had fallen asleep at the wheel once, to my complete horror. Some differences cannot be bridged, whether we go about it respectfully or not. But I certainly believe that it is worth a try, as long as both of you keep the communication channels open, and keep track of how each of you is feeling and why.

        3. Michael

          Goldie, very interesting! Just got out of a two year relationship., but before the break, a friend of mine suggested the Love Languages book to my ex and me. My friend praised it and told me that it definitely fixed her relationship with her boyfriend.

  2. 62

    Sasa 28 – “poor loser”???? What a mean thing to say about a friend.

    At lunchtime today, I spoke with a woman whom I expect you would call a loser too. She is afraid to go out and meet someone, in case she falls in love and gets hurt.


    We’ve all been there.

    For me, if a man moves too quickly and I’m not sure that he is in love with ME (and me the same with HIM), I would not necessarily think him clingy and desperate – but would slow down to make sure of what I’m feeling. Putting labels on it doesn’t help.

    I’d already be a teeny bit cautious if a man starts talking love on the second date. Maybe it’s just me.

    1. 62.1
      Sparkling Emerald

      Isn’t it sad how wanting a relationship is now seen as something only “losers” want ? A friend of mine recently married, and she said she was out at the blue bar taking dance lessons, and she told a group of women that she had recently married. Then she told me “Oh, they were all saying things like “oooh, where did you meet him” ” and in her mind that made them “desparate”. Really I don’t get that at ALL. If someone said “I just bought a house” I would probably say “Ooooh, where did buy ?” If someone said they were getting ready to fly to Europe I would probobaly say
      “Ooooh, where in Europe ?” But sheesh, treat getting married like its some kind of GOOD news, and you are considered a loser ?

      1. 62.1.1

        I’m shaking my head at your friend’s reaction, Sparkling… Those women were just being polite. She was the one who told them she’d just gotten married. What did she expect them to say, “oh, that’s nice”? “sucks to be you”? “been there, done that, never again”? Of course they expressed interest by asking where she’d met him. That’s not desperate at all, that’s normal conversation.

  3. 63

    What is the date on this letter, Evan? I’m guessing about 5 years ago? Looking through your blog (it looks great, btw!), I remembered this letter that I had written and looked it up. I’m still dealing with the same issue, however many years later. I’m still single. Haven’t been in a relationship for longer than 3 months in the past 8 years (since my divorce). I always tell myself that it’s because I’d rather be alone than with the wrong person. But do I keep passing up the right person? I do believe that there is more than one “right” person out there for each of us. When I look inside myself, I really do want to be in a relationship with someone, and when I have been in those short ones, I feel very good. I always find some reason though that it can’t work. There have been legitimate reasons (like the guy who did LSD, or the guy who was married), but then there were also reasons like, “I’m just not feeling it,” or, “he’s too conservative for me.” I always bring my “A-game” on a date. I’m attractive and fun to be with, so it’s rare if I don’t get a second date. But if I start feeling like someone is into me before I’m into him, I just freak out…and that is MY problem!

    1. 63.1

      Hey Leah I think you are absolutely on point that when you feel like someone is into you before you’re into them you freak out. Unfortunately I think that is a fundamental difference between man and woman. I am in my 20s, it is currently near the end of 2013 and I’ve been through this multiple times. I’m young kind goal oriented decent looking and I have great first dates and often get second ones. I recently read something about a second date slump. I’ve been single for 3 years since my last relationship and when I go on a great first date I just fall too fast and scares the girls away. I think it also has to do with the fact that I’m becoming more desperate as I’m single for a longer amount of time each day, but the main thing is I know how interested I am in one date and I need to “play the game” by hiding my emotions better until she starts liking me a lot too. Girls just take some time to decide and to build a comfort level I guess. In retrospect I sound so smart but I wish I can pull this off as I have been letting great girls slip away 🙁 it makes me sad. Don’t be too hard on yourself, guys like me need to learn or girls like you just have to open up faster which is not a good or easy thing to do. Better for the guys to stop showing all their cards so fast..

  4. 64

    Perhaps you are being too hard on those ordinary, decent guys our there who really, honestly want marriage instead of a long courtship and the possibility of a long life as a single, independent man; are honest enough to say so up front; and are not willing to try to learn how to live “fulfilling lives” as a single.

    It would be so refreshing if a dating website had a section for men and women interested in and perusing marriage, so such men would not have to wade through dozens of women who aware afraid of or unwilling to make the commitment of marriage and say so right up front, so marriage-minded men won’t waste their time on them.

  5. 65

    Leah, I find myself asking how to avoid women who are fiercely independent, and would rather stay that way instead of making the commitments a marriage requires, and fing intelligent, educated women who are not “allergic” to marriage commitments.

  6. 66

    Andy, perhaps some guys show their cards so fast is that they want to be honest from the start. And not spending months or years as singles, hate the single life, and want out of it as soon as possible. Such honesty should be appreciated.

  7. 67

    I am convinced there is a Jill out there for every Jack. The problem is that dating sites are all failing miserably in bringing true marriage-minded marriage-focused singles of ALL ages together, instead of setting them up to be rejected precisely because they want marriage.

    Wanting marriage or remarriage should be no reason to be considered undesirable or “creepy.”

  8. 68

    Clingy only happens when there’s no mutual attraction. Sure, the attraction may build over time, but I think the person who doesn’t like the clinging will cut their losses fast. Women complain about men showing too much interest but really ladies, perhaps you aren’t showing enough? Men are the gateway to commitment…

  9. 69

    soman are just desperate to find a guy when they stay single for a long time 

  10. 70

    Interestingly shallow but very real perspective from the letter writer.
    Remember these men arent all the desperate losers that the writer thinks.  I know from my own perspective as a man dating a woman that i have a lot of options and im pretty good at sourcing more.  
    Ive been “let go” quite rudely by women when i express a valid genuine interest in them and start talking about taking the relationship to the next level.  How are the ladies supposed to know that i am liking what im seeing and that im not some committment phobe or serial multi dater other than to express my interest.
    Also, i want to see if im wasting my time.  There are a great many women out there who will string a guy along, make him think hes the only one and then abruptly announce that they have met the love of their lives and are going exclusive with someone else.  If a girl wont entertain even the thought about going exclusive within five dates she aint exclusivity material.  Im not talking about a ring, just talking about labels and where each person might like to be.
    Women like that are a godsend.  Normally by the time i am even asking that question its because ive got 2-3 fresh potential dates lined up, been banging a casual partner on the side, and im wondering if i should go out with the fresh prospects and start something new or not and whether i should wrap things up with the casual partner.  
    Giving me attitude when im testing if she wants to go further allows me to downgrade that woman, convert her into a new casual partner, set dates for the new prospects and go looking for more.
    The typical woman game of pulling away because i tried to advance the relationship gives me all the room in the world to do so.  I can send a few texts which she wont answer which gets me off the hook for ignoring her, her lack of initiative means im likely not going to get interrupted when in the sack or on a date with one of the other girls and eventually my absence when things get busy will have the girl (who is like the writer) hungry for more and i can get my casual fix out of her.
    Eventually casuals dry up because they arent committed and are still looking so you as a guy dating need to keep bringing in fresh stock and women like that are perfect.  They want you around but dont want you around too much, or calling too much or texting too much.  Gives you room to look for mrs. Right.
    So take it from me ladies, next time your going to slap the needy label on some guys face just think of what ive said and remember that this could all be going on in the background.  And before you call me or any man who would operate this way a pig, put it into perspective: if you were to say yes lets do it you just gave this “pig” finally a reason to escape all this madness and dump all the other girls so he can simplify his life and focus all his energy on you.
    Which, ironically is what most women want a man in a relationship to do.

    1. 70.1

      With your story you’re actually confirming that we should filter out the fast-forwarders like you.
      You approach dating like it’s a job-interview. The vacancy just has to be filled, it doesn’t really matter if it’s me or one of the other “2-3 fresh potential dates lined up“. To top it off, you even admit you’re banging someone on the side. So, no genuine feelings for the girl you’re dating and not a real catch to say the least. 

    2. 70.2
      jay. bee

      Very well said.  I am that exact guy.  I keep a team of women to meet my needs.  However,  we are still needy.

      1. 70.2.1

        “fresh stock” – how charming!!  Exactly why I don’t let a guy fast forward me because I want to know what his REAL attitude to women is.  Are they an endless parade of available holes OR are they real humans, with real emotions that can be hurt and deserve respect?  Men who feel the latter are very rare.  Reading the way you think about women makes me very weary and so very sorry for my daughters, sisters and friends.  I’m self sufficient, I don’t really want another human in my space and I have good male friends to talk to and have done the marriage, white picket fence and kids thing, so am not desperate to do it again.  My last relationship was a LOVE relationship, we were madly in love and CLUNG to each other from the first meeting. Both wanted to spend all our time together.  However, he also had an underlying disrespect for women that started showing in his attitude towards me and he became increasingly controlling.  I disregarded all the red flags because of my physical attraction to him, lol.  Men with such disparaging ways of dealing with the opposite sex are ones I will endeavour to avoid like the plague.  Fresh stock, indeed. Yuck.

  11. 71

    If a man has the good looks, height, financial and social status, plus the high practicality of being a trophy boyfriend to show off to her girlfriends, he is pretty much set.   He can attach himself to whatever woman he pleases like just like superglue.  His height and good  looks make him immediately desirable, so in essence the woman is the “clingy” one in the equation.   If’s he’s everything that she wants from the surface level, she’ll more than likely do her best to hold on to him in hopes of discovering a golden personality that matches the quality of his looks.   When the relationship all goes to crap, the so-called clingy, needy, lesser attractive guys are the ones she desires for that shoulder to cry on, but nothing more than that.
    Lesser attractive, shorter guys who don’t have “tall” guy looks and tall guy pseudo-social status are labelled “clingy” even though they show the same amount of interest in a woman or less.  Women will go even further than that and deem these men as creeps.  Only certain men are allowed to be clingy because the women desire them by virtue of social customs.

    1. 71.1

      Let me guess you see yourself as one of rhe lesser attractive guys?  I can assure you you could not be more wrong.  A drop dead gorgeous man can make himself unattractive by acting clingy or creepy as could a tall men.  These men may get a lot of first dates but if they act like this they get dropped real quick.  But I bet most of the don’t.  The issue is confidence.  Most men that have confidence don’t act clingy or desperate.  Clingy and desperate usually come from a lack of self confidence.  Attractive men are usually self confident.  You don’t get as many attractive men that act like this.   You just don’t.  You are mixing up showing interest and acting clingy two different things.  No man is allowed to act clingy at least not with me.  Huge turn off.  I’ve never superglued myself to anyone either.  You seem a bit bitter.

    2. 71.2

      I recently ended a relationship with a multi-millionaire who was over six foot and undeniably sexy and good looking. He spent money on me like the lotto and was very clingy and loving.  He also turned out to have a raging coke habit and became increasingly verbally aggressive and then physically abusive.  Despite the fact that I was unbelievably attracted to him, even prior to knowing he was incredibly wealthy and also enjoying the lifestyle he afforded – there was no way after his abuse he was coming anywhere near me or my daughter. I’d rather live in a tent.  We are not all like Melania Trump. some of us won’t put up with anything for wealth and height.  I also hated him paying for everything.  I didn’t want to feel I owed him a thing and yes, in the end I got ‘after all I’ve done for you’ rant.. meaning ‘after all I’ve spent on you’.  Really?  Spending money on me means you can have a coke rage and smack me in the face?  Nope, nope, nope.  I would rather a man without money who treats me with respect.  Only stupid women with no other options will put up with a rich disrespectful good looking douche bag.  I have one life on this earth and it’s too damn short to go to my death bed knowing I sold my soul  and self respect for money.

  12. 72

    JOHN- ‘What do the single moms expect men to do the other six nights when they’re unavailable and don’t want to be exclusive ?

    What did you mean by this comment? are you saying that if you cannot see a women 7 nights a week you have nothing to do? It seems a bit odd to me that you feel the need to see a woman or a few women to fill your time. Do you not have friends or hobbies? surely thats not a nice place to be and makes you feel lonely when you are spending an evening without a woman?

  13. 73
    Slow Gee Nee

    If a man is laying it on thick, he’s pretty much trying to get you into bed.
    If a man is talking to you about things other than laying on the thick flattery, he is probably trying to get to know if he is going to like you.
    I heard these guys in a bar giving the ladies their numbers. 6, 7, 7.5, etc.

    I asked, “SO, I don’t here any 9’s 10’s, are you guys that fussy or just that single?”
    “Well, we reserve the rest of the numbers for personality”
    “So, if I have this right, aprox 70% for looks, and 30% in reserve for personality”
    “Ya, that’s about right”

    So if a man likes your looks and approaches, he’s into your looks. If he’s checking out the rest of you, by listening and talking about things, he’s checking out your potential. If those are the rules, than any man who doesn’t get to know you personally, is either trying to get laid or being a cling on. Meaning he’s just wanting a woman’s company period. Nothing to do with you as a person. Also something he probably does often enough. Also as stated above. I know a few men who actually go right for clingy, knowing most women will back off, just so they can fool around behind your distanced back.
    It’s another MO for some men. How can you tell? Women are usually a bit mysterious, men who get mysterious or secretive about anything usually have something serious to hide. Be aware if the guy laying it on thick mentions anything that says “Let’s not talk here, I’ll call you later”

    Intuition, use it. Mainly when you want to look at someone and say “Are you for real?” go ahead say it.

  14. 74

    BEWARE of this kind of man. I just got done with one. I have reason to believe that he was trying to manipulate me. If he wooed me, I would be connected to him and he could then get devotion, which leads him to getting basically everything he could think of. Like booze and cigarettes. As time went on it became apparent I would be giving him rides, paying for all the dates, and taking care of his emotional needs like a mother. It got worse and worse and I could tell being my boyfriend (someone who does things for me), was becoming a problem. I just read another article about this that said these men are not healthy. That is most likely the case. To jump into a relationship and get committed early on is not a healthy decision, or at the very least, immature.

  15. 75

    Men feel jealousy when they hear that a woman they are interested in is seeing another guy. We don’t feel insecure.

  16. 76
    Jay Bee

    After reading this post and many of the comments, I am finally understanding that I am that “clingy” and “needy” guy.  I was recently in a “relationship” where I felt that she was the “one” after 2 or three dates.  She constantly told me that I was always too serious and asked to just have fun.  I allowed my past and personal insecurities to dominate our communication, thus driving her away.  I could go into a long dissertation of why I am driving people away but I won’t.   I will take a lot of this advice and work on myself.  Is it possible to change or am I stuck being needy since it’s in my personality? Note: the only I don’t show neediness is to date multiple women at once.  I guess, I am getting smaller needs met from a lot of people.  A chuckle as I write this because I am realizing that I need help! Lol

  17. 77

    Jay Bee….you sound like the guy I am seeing now……he knows he is driving me nuts with his behavior and is trying to change but it is his nature… well as the result of his past and personal insecurities.  His admission that he knows this about himself makes me like him a lot more……but he still drives me nuts. I have to hit him with a fly swatter to make him stop kissing me, hugging me and all that stuff….lol….but that’s not the hardest part. The hardest part is knowing his expectations are so high for our relationship, and the pressure is so great on me……what if I just can’t meet his expectations and have to back off?   He is a wonderful person in every way. IT is so painful to hurt someone who is good and decent and you care about……but maybe I can’t ever say “I love you” and he is saying it after just a month??  So my challenge is to make sure I communicate to him…constantly…..where I am coming  from and that I need to take things slow, etc.  Then, at least I will have been honest and open and won’t have a guilty conscience if things don’t work out.   We are in our 60’s….both of us are widowed….but I guess I have dealt with the loss of my soul mate differently than he has.  I understand his loneliness totally. But I have chosen to make the rest of my life a challenge and be independent and be more of a risk taker, etc. Someone to share my life now would be awesome and welcome….but not a necessity. I fear in his case, he simply needs to be with someone 24/7.   It’s a tough one….we are amazingly compatible as well.   Maybe I am the one who has to change?  Am I just detaching because I am using “independence” as an excuse for hiding emotionally?       I could go on and on…….anyway….what a great topic this is……

  18. 78

    Being alone can get lonely…but not for everyone.  But is choosing to be alone selfish, in a way? 

  19. 79

    I’m 39, single and childless but would never throw myself at a guy.  In fact my recent ex, the first guy I loved, was the one who brought up marriage and moving in together 4 times in 6 months.  As much as I adored him I wanted to take time.  I even thought he’d be “the one.”   

  20. 80

    Kat, it simply sounds like you just do not want to be married.  Not really.  At least not now.  You should make this crystal clear right at the outset of every new relationship, so marriage-minded men will move on and not waste their time.

    I do have to ask, why, precisely are so reluctant to marry?  What is wrong with marriage that you seem so fearful of it, and so reluctant to get married?  What is wrong with marriage?  I don’t understand.


  21. 81

    No, Nan.  Choosing to be alone is not selfish at all.  It is simply a choice to be respected.  As is the desire to be married.  But both preferences should be clearly stated right up front at the beginning of a possible relationship.

  22. 82

    Surprisingly, it’s a growing phenomenon, particularly if he is, or nearing, middle age. It’s why unmarried men die younger. Put simply, they aren’t as facile at maintaining and developing social relationships as women. Thus, if they meet a seemingly together women, who’s living her life fully (like the so-called “experts” recommended), they glom onto her like she’s an oasis. It’s exacerbated if the man’s children are grown or custody is vested predominantly in the ex-wife. It’s even worse if the man is struggling financially (for any one of a number of reasons) and you’re solidly on your feet. It feels like a complete role reversal–like these men are begging for someone to rescue them from the burning tower. But, no one can do this for another, just as the self-help gurus have advised women for decades.

    1. 82.1

      OMG you hit the nail on the head Kate.  I find so many of these needy men are in their mid 40s many are actually never married they have not developed the social relationships like we women have.  We have well developed lives outside of relationships they don’t.  They want to be on top of me 24/7 and I start to notice they have no lives no support systems.

  23. 83

    How many cats are the women here planning to buy? With this mentality they will be old (as they already are) alone (which they already are) and with many many cats (still to come if they dont have one): the old cat lady you will be called. I think you ladies are really so wrong. Good luck.

    1. 83.1

      I am a crazy cat lady. I’m old, fat, and undesirable. And I like it that way. 😉

      1. 83.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I really have no idea why you post like this. You say the same thing about how you’re old, fat, undesirable, proudly Christian, single mom, love your cats and fed up with men. It’s like you come on the boards to just remind us that, in fact, you are still single and old, fat, undesirable, proudly Christian, single mom, love your cats and fed up with men.

        I just don’t get it.

        1. starthrower68

          I addressed snark with snark. But I will not do it again.

        2. N

          What Evan says. N.

        3. Karmic Equation

          How write about yourself, even in reply to snark, is how you train your subconscious to view yourself.

          So stop it. Use positive words to describe yourself instead. Or at the very least refrain from describing yourself negatively.

          Being proud of being able to put yourself down is a messed up kind of pride, ST.

  24. 84

    I understand you want to stick up for men, as you are one, but what about when you haven’t even been on one date yet. You’ve just met them once during your everyday life (car wash, store, etc.) you’re trying to plan a date with them, but they want to see you and push to, sooner than when you’ve told them you’re available for a first date. This is happening to me all the time, and the days I suggest are never more than 1 week away. It’s not an unreasonable amount of time. They completely ignore what I say about being busy and when would work best for me, and the boundaries I try to create and push for like that day or next. For me, I am not a child who is going to ditch responsibility or other plans, jump right into a relationship with someone I just met. I might be initially attracted or I wouldn’t have given out my email or cell, but I truly don’t know from one, quick chance meeting whether we’re going to get along. I want to take time and build a friendship, I’m a grown woman. The rushing into things is over. What about when they continually text me, again, all before a first date, and start saying how beautiful and sexy I am and how they’re going to kiss my pretty freckles. How he is sitting there thinking of my smile. Or in one case, how he wonders if he hadn’t contacted me, if I would have contacted him (again, this is all before a first date, all within a couple of days) as he felt he did all the reaching out and I didn’t enough. It was like 3 or 4 days of meeting and I felt nagged. They get enamored, and I might be “very attractive” to them, but I’m a person, and there’s so more to me and a relationship then just looks. So I get completely turned off that they can’t approach it in a mature manner, feel extremely pressured with my attempts at setting boundaries ignored, and don’t even go on a first date. If they’re trying to manipulate me into seeing them on their terms and not wanting to wait less than a week, if they’re feeling I’m not giving enough of myself before a first date, imagine how they’d be if I actually started something with them. It’s exhausting me that all I’ve met are adult men who are immature, desperate, and manipulative. Much of it is about respect and honoring someone’s boundaries.

    1. 84.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Try this: “Hey, Adam, thanks for your sweet text. You’re absolutely adorable. However, I’m all booked up for the next few days. If you want, give me a call tonight at 8 and we’ll figure something out for this weekend. Can’t wait to hear your voice… XO Linda”

      I have a funny feeling that you’ll feel better setting reasonable boundaries with warmth, men will feel better about how you’re responding to them, and your anger about men who are excited about you will start to dissipate some.

    2. 84.2

      While I am not saying this to be critical, I think he may be idealizing you because the hormones are talking. I’m not saying you aren’t a perfectly lovely, delightful person. I’m not calling him out as a bad guy. But it happens.

      1. 84.2.1

        They are idealizing – but short of trying to not look attractive, stop working out and stop taking care of myself – I’m not sure how to stop that. To me, if two people are attracted, that’s just the first step – it’s not the one and only step. It’s deeper than looks, but men are too visual when it comes to me and other women I’m sure. It’s disappointing, and it’s a lot of pressure, we’re only human looking for a real connection – not hormones idealizing us.

  25. 85

    Now, I don’t agree with “can’t wait to hear your voice, or that’s adorable.” Not true, I don’t know them yet, I wouldn’t think either of that…yet. I have felt that before – but only after a first date or two. But, perhaps my tone has you believing I’m being mean or cold to them, but I don’t act angry with them at all. I do use warmth and smiley faces and everything to try to be warm and friendly. Like for i.e. “Hey, thanks for the compliment, I do have a lot going on this week, but let’s catch up in a couple days and plan for Sat night. smiley face” (just an example) I actually try to make light of it when they come with something too heavy and laugh it off – smiley faces, and so on. But they’ll keep texting morning, noon, night (not in a couple days when I’d like to catch up) and I’m sorry, that’s too needy for not even a date yet. It’s not healthy. Bottom line, I’m just not “bumping” into stable men with two feet on the ground.

    1. 85.1
      Karmic Equation

      I’m with you on this one, Linda. I can’t fake enthusiasm or attraction or potential attraction. To me that would be inauthentic. I’m currently in this situation where a guy who was a friend of a friend FB friended me. We started FB messaging and two days later he sent me flowers. I love flowers, but that was way too fast. He was calling me a few times a day and messaging me a lot. We hadn’t met yet as he’s on the west coast and I’m on the east coast, so I was quite ok with taking it slow. He’s in a hurry. And he’s messaging every day “Miss me?” I haven’t had the heart to say “No” outright, but I jokingly wrote “Ummm…I only miss people I’ve known longer than a year 😉 ” He’s toned it down, but getting him to slow down to a “normal” pace is difficult. He keeps going like this and I’m just going to tell him off (nicely) — probably lie and say I’m seeing someone. I mean it feels so weird. And he just seems lonely. But I’m not the answer to his loneliness. And I’m feeling a little jerkish for not responding to his texts until a day later. But I’ve already told him I’m not the every day texting or calling kind of gal. He’s gotta listen to me. Too needy right now and driving attraction out of my system.

      1. 85.1.1

        Thanks Karmic – you said it perfectly. If there was ever attraction, they drive it right out of you. The key is “not listening”.and trying to push themselves into your life without so much as a how do ya do. And isn’t it funny how we end up feeling “guilty” or “jerkish” when we tire of answering right away, when we’ve already tried to nicely slow it down. This last one has texted me at 6 a.m……..and then later in the day directly after I nicely and warmly said I was in the middle of a busy day we’d touch base later..His immediate answer….”When are you free and what in life makes you happy?” I did not answer and he texted later again. This was Monday, I met him Friday. I’ve gotten texts morning noon and night since and answered one last night saying I need to catch up with him in a couple days and to have a great week until then. Smiley 🙂 He said that was good, but I got another text this morning. It boggles my mind – he’s not listening at all, so I’m just going to stop responding or like you, tell him I’m seeing someone. Last one, when another guy says to me, “I always contact you, you never contact me” I just frankly said “always? I’m sorry, but we met 4 days ago?!?! Always and never don’t even exist here” Good luck with yours – sorry you’re having to go through it …….

        1. Karmic Equation

          In the whole scheme of things, this is a good problem to have. There are a lot of women who would love to have our problem 🙂

          This is more for the “nice guys” out there. If you’re lucky enough to get the number of a woman who you think is out of your league, you need to interact with her as if she were in your league. We don’t like being put on a pedestal any more than you do. It’s a lot of unnecessary pressure. Most women want to be loved, not idolized.

          Showing us and telling us unceasingly that you’re attracted to us won’t make us more attracted to you. If you’re over-contacting us because you’re afraid we’ll change our minds…ironically, over-contacting us will ENSURE we change our minds…and second guess ourselves on why we ever gave you our numbers in the first place.

          Slow yourselves down. There’s more risk of your driving attraction out of us with your eagerness than losing us if you take it slow.

  26. 86

    I do have to remember, it’s not such a bad problem, it just gets disappointing after you first meet someone and have hopes for something healthy materializing, and then it starts all over again.

    Thanks for that though – wonderfully put 🙂

  27. 87

    Wow….. commented on here a longtime ago and a lot has been said on this topic. I will just say that my clingy friend and I no longer date but keep in touch as friends. I had to just put an end to things because he just wasn’t getting the message…..but I will say that I learned a lot about myself in this experience……I learned that I am actually much more judgmental and fussy and critical than I ever imagined I was! I went on a few dates after we broke up, and in all cases I was the one who wasn’t interested in continuing to see the other person…….to their great dismay. Yet I felt they were all good, decent guys…I just didn’t want anything to do with them. So I began to wonder….what exactly is it that I want??? As if I wanted to be in a relationship, but no one was ever gonna be good enough???? Well, I have decided to stop looking for a while, at least, until I figure out what it is I really want. Yes, the first guy was overly clingy, but he was sweet and kind and honest and I gave him a bad rap, in many ways. Neediness, as a widower in his 60’s who was happily married for 30 years……can’t blame him, but I judged him as if he had some horrible personality problem when in fact he was just being human.

    1. 87.1

      Wow so I am just curious, how was it remaining friends with him? Is he a very clingy 
      friend or does he understand the boundaries? I am worried to stay friends with the guy
      I am currently dating.  I just feel he would always try to suck me back into a relationship. 

  28. 88
    Charles Xavier

    Clingy = fear/expectations. Not love/appreciation.

    May have to do with his penis size. Sorry hun 🙁

  29. 89


    I don’t get it. Why are you puzzled by the actions of these men? They are acting exactly the way women typically do. What’s hard to understand about that?

    Is it that you simply can’t recognize it, when you are seeing yourself in a mirror?

  30. 90

    This is a real problem for a lot of people, men AND women, with online dating and I think it’s a shame such a valid issue was glossed over the way it was.
    There is a HUGE difference between letting your guard down and being real when you like someone and desperately grasping at a date right out of the starting gate. Some people are secure, independent and looking for companionship to augment already stable lives. They are happy to get to know someone and allow the process to develop at a healthy pace, i.e., “traditional dating.”
    Some people are just terrified to be alone and those are the ones who pressure their dates to move too quickly. They are impatient, rushing to “get” someone because they are not confident standing on their own or they are worried that someone else will snap up their “prize.” It’s more about their own insecurity than affection or desire.
    It takes time to get to know a person but the internet makes it seem as quick and easy as ordering a pizza. I don’t care of you’re male or female, desperation is NOT a turn on. I think it’s quite valid to point out that it’s stressful and aggravating when someone expects way too much way too fast. I see this all the time and it drives me crazy, even if I initially like a man quite a bit.
    For the record, I always make a point to reign myself in and stay respectful to a guy when I like him. I will never cling, whine, invade his space or place unrealistic demands on a new relationship. That’s just not my style. The letter writer never indicated that she behaved this way either. To call her out as a hypocrite assumed that all people respond to a burgeoning relationship the same way, which is simply absurd.

    1. 90.1

      Clingy and desperate is not attractive, at all.  However, being affectionate is not synonymous with being desperate.  A very good friend of my boyfriend is not desperate at all.  He has no shortage of dates.  He is however, very very affectionate.  He grew tired of getting months into a relationship only to find that the woman was not affectionate enough for him.  So he tests you.  If on a date, and it seems to be going well, he will reach out and hold your hand, usually when transitioning from one venue to another, such as when leaving the restaurant and heading to the theater.  His reasoning is that if you are a very affectionate person, and into him enough to want more dates, you won’t see holding hands as a huge deal.  His thinking is that if you do have a problem with it, you will likely not be as affectionate as he is.  I should make it clear that he keeps it at just that on the first date, with maybe a kiss or three at the end of the date.

      1. 90.1.1

        Hey, I think I’m dating this man! First man ever to reach over the table and cover my hand with his on our first date which was dinner at a restaurant. I think along those lines.  If I am attracted at all, I will, in a very ladylike way, wait by my car door to see if he reads my body language and tries for a kiss. The kiss is part of the interview, as I am very, very affectionate and would be very unhappy with someone who is not very physically affectionate.

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