How Long Do I Wait For A Man Before I’m Wasting My Time?

I'm 30 years old, divorced with no kids, smart, pretty not only on the outside but on the inside too (so people tell me,) very family oriented and have great values. I've followed your advice from A to Z and GOD HAVE THEY HELPED!!!! But now I’m extremely puzzled and need your advice. Less than a month ago, I started dating a guy who, according to my mother, I shouldn’t even be dating because he's "way too good looking" and "guys like that" don’t like to be in steady relationships.

Anyway, I try to think about what you've said about your wife, how at the beginning she wasn't the type of girl you were used to dating… And I've followed every step you talk about when it comes to her, "to be cool, calm, and collected..."

From day one, this guy and I had a great chemistry, in the sense that we truly enjoy each other’s company. He is the one that calls me (even if I’m like dying to call, I wait for his call,) he is the one that talks about seeing each other and so on... (No sex yet, as I want to get to know him a little better.) Well, last night he told me that he's starting to genuinely like me, and that concerned him, because as perfect as that is, it's not a good idea.... (As far as I know, I’m the only person he’s dating.) He told me that it wasn’t supposed to happen that way nor was he supposed to feel so comfortable around me!

So my question to you, Evan: Is this normal? Or is this a red flag? I really like this guy and don't want to mess things up!  So I just smiled and avoided getting too deep in the subject as I noticed he was a bit stressed over it. I remember what you said about your wife, that she never asked where you guys were headed... I know you are super busy, but I've come such a long way, and I’m so proud of myself with all the changes I've made since I started reading your newsletters, that I don’t want to do or say the wrong thing here. What does it mean when he said that? Thank you soooo much and may God bless you, your wife and your beautiful baby that’s about to come!!!! --Mari

Dear Mari,

Thank you for your very kind words. I’m genuinely thrilled that you’re seeing positive changes in your love life since you started reading. And I chose your letter out of the hundreds of emails I get each month because I find it infinitely more challenging to take on a situation that is not at all black and white.

In fact, I’m guessing every one reading this has been in the exact same position as you, with the same exact question:

“How long do I invest in a man before I panic that I’m wasting my time?”

Believe the Negatives. Ignore the Positives,

And try though I might, this isn’t something that can easily be reduced to a simple science, because each individual man has his own unique set of issues.

What I will remind you is of the newsletter that I wrote less than six months ago, which proclaimed, “Believe the Negatives. Ignore the Positives."

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Stacy

    This guy is bad news. He’s a manipulator and messing with your head. Dump him before he breaks your heart. It’s good you haven’t had sex yet – could’ve been much worse

  2. 2
    Ruby

    Well, last night he told me that he’s starting to genuinely like me, and that concerned him, because as perfect as that is, it’s not a good idea…. (As far as I know, I’m the only person he’s dating.) He told me that it wasn’t supposed to happen that way nor was he supposed to feel so comfortable around me!
     
    If I was dating a man and he told me that, I wouldn’t sit back and smile politely, I would ask him to explain what he meant. Perhaps Evan’s wife never asked where they were headed, but did Evan make such comments to her? My guess is no. If you are not clear about something a man says, ASK! It’s your life, your future, and you are not pressuring him, you are asking him to clarify something that HE brought up.
     
    Also, your mother isn’t exactly instilling you with confidence when she says this man is “way too good-looking” to be serious about you.

    1. 2.1
      Zion

      👍🏾

  3. 3
    Christie Hartman

    Nah, it’s too soon to tell. Not all red flags turn out to be problems. I say take it slow and wait for him to screw up (or not to).
     
    And I could not agree more about paying attention to the negatives. I just told a young woman basically the same thing in my blog – when the messages are mixed, the bad ones are the bottom line.

  4. 4
    Steve

    Mari;
     Rule #1:   Don’t take dating advice from your parents.
     
    Well, last night he told me that he’s starting to genuinely like me, and that concerned him, because as perfect as that is, it’s not a good idea…. (As far as I know, I’m the only person he’s dating.) He told me that it wasn’t supposed to happen that way nor was he supposed to feel so comfortable around me!
     
    Um, that is the sort of the WHOLE IDEA behind dating.
    Red flag time.

  5. 5
    Aimee S.

    Doesn’t matter how much a man likes you or is attracted to you, if he doesn’t want a girlfriend, he will not have one.  Can he change his mind? Sure. But it’s unlikely. I was just there and told the guy it wasn’t working for me.  I think he was shocked. If he ever wants to call me again he knows it has to be if he wants a serious relationship – or to see if one is possible w/ me.  I know he won’t call. Cutting your losses is less painful than heartbreak.

  6. 6
    Joe

    What does this woman want – an STR or and LTR/Marriage?  Why is an STR a bad thing, its a learning experience, you have fun, its part of dating.  But if she doesn’t want to casually date, don’t sleep with him unless you are both committed to marriage, wait months or years before sleeping with each other if needed.  Plan C, just get off the pill and have an accidental baby out of wedlock, especially if he’s rich, he’ll pay the child support.

    1. 6.1
      Mimi

      Get serious Joe boy!

    2. 6.2
      CJ

      WHAT kind of advice is that!!! My mother got pregnant. My Dad married her. Had two more kids. Divorced. Basically screwed up 5 people’s lives!!! The worst advice you can give anyone!!! I tell ALL of my guy friends to use condoms for this reason!

  7. 7
    Diana

    Okay. This is really confusing. Isn’t the idea of dating to hopefully find someone you genuinely like? If that’s not a good idea, what is? His comment that, “it wasn’t suppose to happen that way nor was he supposed to feel so comfortable around me” is perplexing. Again, is it better to feel tied up in knots? Maybe the guy’s accustomed to a lot of drama girls or maybe he’s starting to fall fast and it scares him. Maybe he’s afraid of intimacy or he doesn’t think it’s a good idea because then you’ll want to get all married and stuff. Maybe he has another girl on the side or unfinished business in his past, and he’s realizing that he’s starting to create an emotional mess.
     
    The reasons why don’t really matter. In hindsight, I would have suggested that you respond to his comments by smiling and saying how much you genuinely liked him, too, and could he please explain what he meant. I’d bide my time a bit longer, but not too much longer. Whatever is happening in his internal life, his insecurity and unsureness may lead to heart break later on.

  8. 8
    Gabrielle

    @Joe:  Actually, Plan C never works. Plan C is a high-school manuver. Classy women don’t DO plan C.  So why even bring it up here?

    1. 8.1
      Charlotte C.

      True,plan C is stupid

  9. 9
    BeenThruTheWars

    A month is nothing.  A speck.  Watchful waiting is the key at this point.  Go out when he asks if you’re available; look nice, smell nice, be nice, have fun, then go home and evaluate what you see, hear and feel on your dates with him.  Keep doing what you’re doing – which is not sleeping with or pursuing him – and I would add in, date other men while you’re at it.  If he said he doesn’t want a girlfriend and you’re not sleeping together, why be exclusive and limit your options?  If you’re serious about finding a LTR, then don’t stop looking now just ’cause you met someone cute.  And it could very well be that Mr. Handsome, who probably isn’t used to dating such a self-assured, self-possessed young lady, might just change his mind about whether or not he’s “ready” for anything more if he scents a faint whiff of competition on the breeze.

  10. 10
    Gem

    “It’s not a good idea…..it wasn’t suppose to happen that way…”

    I think it’s a game. He wants you to work harder to push him over that edge he’s hinting about. The “I’m unsure and suprised by my feelings for you…..” edge. He wants you to think, “okay, I’ll seal the deal with sex.” And soon after, he’d probably fade.

    Don’t have sex with him. Major red flags. If you want to give this more time, do so without sex and start dating others so you don’t get too swept up in this one person.

  11. 11
    Katarina Phang

    Give him a chance but keep your options open.  That’s what I’m doing as well with a man I’ve been dating the last 5 months.  We’re not exclusive yet and taking things slow but everything has been positive and wonderful.  Like Evan says, be a woman he can’t leave.  I am that woman right now for him.  When I’m not with him, I’m taking care of myself and just focusing on me and my own happiness (dating and keeping busy with work/projects).

    1. 11.1
      Tsegaye

      its a lot and the way you gave me a chance
      got it

  12. 12
    starthrower68

    Mama may be right; this dude may very well be too good looking to settle down.  She may not have used the most finessed way of wording it, but she probably has some wisdom in that area.  I would say Mari, that if you decide to wait it out a bit longer, do so with your eyes wide open.  Continue to be charming, flirty, and fun, but I’d be very careful about handing over my heart. 

  13. 13
    A-L

    I totally agree with BeenThruTheWars’ #9.  Apart from his enigmatic comments, he’s been doing the right thing.  So let him keep doing the right thing until it turns into something permanent, or until he stops doing the right thing and the relationship is no more.  And if he makes any more cryptic comments, I would definitely ask for clarification on what he means.  That’s not pressure, it’s being an attentive listener.

  14. 14
    Steve

    Christie Hartman
    when the messages are mixed, the bad ones are the bottom line.

     
    Well put!  Suitable for putting on the refrigerator.
     

  15. 15
    Vanessa

    I agree with BeenThroughTheWars @ 9. A month is nothing. I´d wait another month or two, and keep doing what you´re doing, evaluate, keep your options open and if in three months he´s still not sure, then dump him. But I think dumping him now is too soon.

  16. 16
    AS

    If you’ve been dating less than a month, then I think you should hold out a bit longer. But at the same time you should not be putting all your eggs into one basket – date other people – as you’re not in an exclusive relationship… I do not want to promote false hope here but may be he did not expect to fall for you and he needs a little time (and no I do not mean months on end) to process this all and figure out how to move forward… So give him a little time and an opportunity to step-up and if he does not, then at least you will not look back on this in the future and wonder what if… At least you tried.

  17. 17
    Selena

    Since these letters are printed 4-6 weeks after they were first sent to EMK, I’m wondering where things stand now – a little further along. Mari?

  18. 18
    Karl R

    Mari asked: (original post)
    “Is this normal? Or is this a red flag?”
    “What does it mean when he said that?”

    It’s certainly not a common thing for a man to say. I don’t know what he meant. And it sounds like a red flag to me.

    However, a red flag is a sign of a potential problem … not necessarily a problem in itself.

    When I first started dating my girlfriend, she told me that she wasn’t interested in a serious relationship with me, she was interested in a serious relationship with someone else, and that I was too young for her. I’d call that a red flag.

    In a relationship, it’s useful to take stock of things every three months. Things may ebb and flow from day to day, but you can usually see some significan’t progress over a three month timespan. If you can’t, that’s significant.

    By the time three months rolled around, my girlfriend had changed her mind on all three of those issues. If she hadn’t changed her mind, I would have pursued other women.

    Mari said: (original post)
    “Less than a month ago, I started dating a guy”

    It’s too soon to know anything for certain. If you like the guy, wait until the three-month mark.

    But you might want to ask what he means the next time he says something like that. You can even question it in a bantering tone. As others have said, dating someone you like is generally the point.

  19. 19
    jrd

    Karl R: “When I first started dating my girlfriend, she told me that she wasn’t interested in a serious relationship with me, she was interested in a serious relationship with someone else, and that I was too young for her.”

    Why did you continue to date her?

  20. 20
    Harriet Bond

    Hmmm. Think we have all ignored these obvious red flags before and put up with vagueness because we really feel a connection with someone, and some of us have not pursued the conversations we really need because we suspect it will make them feel ‘uncomfortable’ to talk about it; but how about YOUR discomfort at NOT talking about it? You need to put yourself first, because he certainly isn’t!

    1. 20.1
      Ross

      Harriet, very well said. My thought indeed… why not asking “then what do you want” and actually that is something that I would have asked from the get go. They may lie but if you are good at reading body language, tone of voice etc you can clearly see they are lying (saying for instance they want a relationship when they do not)

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