How Much Time You Should Give a Guy to Commit Before You Quit

guy looking at his girlfriend

I received this email the other day from a woman who read Why He Disappeared.

I found it frustrating — but really, I was feeling frustration on HER behalf. This woman is tearing her hair out because she doesn’t know how to apply my advice. And her frustration is what spurred me to write today’s post.

I think your advice is contradictory. You imply that you should get rid of the guys that don’t call regularly and make it obvious that they want to date and pursue a relationship and yet in the book you mention that you didn’t take your wife on a proper date for the first 4 weeks and how great she was that when you did call she was nice and said yes to whatever you proposed doing…and you ended up married….which is why women put up with flaky guys and “bad behavior”, holding out hope that it will change and turn into something serious. Like your relationship.

So which is it? Are you always nice when they call and say “yes” to the date? Or do you move on to the next guy because this one isn’t making much of an effort? For some people the 4 weeks turns into 4 months without them noticing and by then they’re in that pattern…and the behavior becomes acceptable yet unfulfilling and it’s too late to change it because you’ve been the “nice”, undemanding girl the whole time.


My first inclination was to defend myself.

After all, I understand what I’m talking about!

But if Tanya is finding this grey area to be a bit too grey, then I have to acknowledge that perhaps I can do a better job of explaining it.

So let’s take a real-life example, shall we?

You don’t win this war by waiting him out and hoping he falls for you after four months or six months or one year of casual sex.

Janie is a client who signed up for Love U.

I like Janie a lot. She’s the type of client I’d be friends with in real life. Positive attitude. Good sense of humor. Understands men and lets them be themselves.

Which is why I wasn’t at all surprised when she met a man only two weeks into our coaching sessions.

What DID surprise me is that, after the initial chemistry rush, Janie settled into a low-intensity pseudo-relationship that didn’t leave her at all satisfied.

Like Tanya — and my wife – she was trying to be the cool girl, but she took it too far.

She needed me to set her straight and show her what her guy was actually thinking.

So why does a man only call or text you once a week to make plans?

Why is a man perfectly content only seeing you once every two weeks?

Why is a man not clamoring to reserve his weekends for you, or take you on a short vacation, or meet your friends and family?

The answer is simple:

He doesn’t want to!

If a man texts you once a week…

If he doesn’t make time to see you regularly…

If he expresses no interest in escalating the intensity of the relationship…

That’s EXACTLY the relationship that HE wants!

Low-intensity. Low-pressure. Low commitment. Low drama.

He wins. You lose.

He’s content. You’re not.

You don’t win this war by waiting him out and hoping he falls for you after four months or six months or one year of casual sex.

You win this one by assessing his efforts and concluding that you’re wasting your time.

There’s a huge difference between giving a guy six weeks to choose you over the other women he’s dating… and to be a sucker for hanging around when you’re merely (and clearly) his “once a week” girl.

Application of this made-up “rule” is surprisingly simple.

When you start dating, Don’t Do Anything. He calls, he texts, he emails – you just “mirror” his efforts and give him enthusiasm and warmth every time.

If he doesn’t follow through fast enough or often enough, make a mental note: “Hmm… this probably means that he’s a) dating other people and isn’t sure whether I’m “the one” OR b) he’s just not that into me and using me for now.”

This doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. This means he’s a regular guy.

This is how we work.

I may have casually seen my wife for the first 4 weeks of our relationship, but I would always email the next day to say I had fun. I was the one who was making the effort to see her more. She didn’t have to do anything except say yes and not judge me while I worked it all out in my head.

There’s a huge difference between giving a guy six weeks to choose you over the other women he’s dating… and to be a sucker for hanging around when you’re merely (and clearly) his “once a week” girl.

So don’t worry about how much you like him, how strong your feelings are, or anything like that.

Just evaluate your man on the effort he’s making for you.

You’ve had boyfriends before, right?

How did they act? Did they “see you” once a week for six months and suddenly declare their love?


Potential boyfriends act like potential boyfriends.

So give a guy 6-8 weeks to figure out his feelings, if necessary. And if you don’t get the sense that the relationship is growing, the talk is brief and emotionless:

“Hey Adam, it’s been fun getting to know you, but I get the sense that we’re not on the same page. I need a man who is looking for a relationship and you don’t seem to be that guy. No hard feelings, but I’m going to go find that guy. Best of luck in your search. Take care of yourself.”

You’re free. And, yes, it’s that simple.

If he values you, he’ll fight for you.

But chances are he’ll know that you’re right. He’ll know he was using you. He’ll know that his string of good luck has come to an end. And he’ll let you go quite easily.

When the relationship is growing — like it was for me in 2007 — you may just have a moment like this:

One night, when we were eating Chinese food and watching TV, I turned to my future-bride-to-be and said, “I think you’re my girlfriend.”

She said, with a coy smile, “I think I am.”

It was that simple.

I wanted to lock her in. I let her know.

The right guy always does.

Join our conversation (126 Comments).
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  1. 81

    I was seeing someone who only wanted to see me once every other week, n he only texted every 3 days, when we did see each other we would have an amazing night, laughing and talking, After 5 weeks    I finally  told him I am not your every other week girl, he then saw me once a week for 3 weeks then it went back to every other week, I had that talk, This is not working for me I want more in a relationship then he was ready for, he told me he did not want to loose me, he did say I’m not ready for a full commitment but   he would make a better effort, I told him if he wanted to just be casual say so and we would continue seeing other people, he said I’m not seeing anyone else, I do not go out, I have my children and am remodeling my home and that takes up my time. I had a gut feeling for weeks that he was seeing someone else. One night he would not answer my texts so I drove by his house, he had another women there, he was mad I just showed up but I did say know I have proof you are a liar. Why is it so hard for a man to just be truthful. And how can he act like I’m so special then lie to my   face. I’m sure he thinks I’m crazy but I needed to see with my eyes that he was a liar. I also let him text me, I did not text him everyday to seem desperate, and when we went out it was always fun,

  2. 82

    Thanks Evan for the “mirroring” advice.   I have all my life been an initiater wondering why relationships were so draining. Now I understand I was with men allowing me to do all the work. A man needs to chose you and feel good about his choice. Otherwise he’s going along with you but not necessarily feeling good about it.

  3. 83
    Isrrael Castaneda

    “That’s EXACTLY the relationship that HE wants!
    Low-intensity. Low-pressure. Low commitment. Low drama.
    He wins. You lose.
    He’s content. You’re not.”
    What?? Really?? Lol…This is not a war nor a competition, it’s about both sides contributing and giving into the relationship (given that there is chemistry). This is pure nonsense!

  4. 84

    best article ive read simple and true!

  5. 85
    Alisha White

    Thank you…this is exactly what I needed to hear.

  6. 86
    Mikki Donaldson

    Wow… it’s funny how you run up on the right information when you’re not looking for it.   Great tips and truly helpful advice.   You’re right – when a guy likes you, you don’t have to do anything but say yes and no at the right times.   Also, you touched on the fact that changing the “type” could impact dating results next time.   So many of us miss this.

  7. 87
    pauline douglas

    I was seeing my partner for two years – there were lost of good things     – he was very loving and generous and very complimentary , he took me on holiday and away for my birthday and text me every single day – 6 months in he was telling me he was tellling me how much he loved me and would always care for me . I had had a very messy divorce so appreciated someone who seemed to care so much for me . I didnt ask him for anything and usually agreed when he asked to see me – this always involved a sleep over either at his house or mine which was great . Cracks appeared randomly and he would lose his temper very quickly and if challenged would lose sight of whatever we disagreed upon turning it into me being hurtful and unkind and that i was saying what a bad person he was- during our two years i met his adult daughter once , we met his friends three times on holiday only and when i asked him to meet my friends – he said he didnt want to be that “ sort of partner “   he just wanted to see me and not meet my friends . We only ever spent a couple of days together when we met up , he would want to take me home early the next day telling   me that he was sure i had loads to get on with , we would meet up every two or three weeks , always sleepovers – we never just met for dinner or for walk or for the cinema – i realise i should have got out quicker that i eventually did – but he was usually so loving and caring and i though he really meant it – when i did eventually say that i thought our relationship was uneven and always at a time that suited him , he reacted really badly saying how unkind i was to paint him in such a negative way . I guess i have just been foolish – i have ended the relationship but i miss him – i must be nuts ☹️

  8. 88

    I’m in a new relationship with someone who I can tell (from actions and words takes me seriously and want something serious with me). After 3 months of casually dating (I was dating multiple other men – do this ladies I PROMISE YOU it helps because 1. It spreads your emotions so you can think logically rather than get too consumed about your emotions for 1 person 2. You give off a ‘I don’t care’ vibe which men are drawn to because they actually DO LIKE to work for things if they think it’s worth it).
    Anyway, 3 months in we had the conversation (he initiated it) and I agreed. Since then every time we see (once a week since we both work and both have our own lives to live) he makes it clear I’m his girlfriend and I feel like I am – he treats me amazingly) and has already done things like booked (actually booked) holidays in a few months time. We are of course in a relationship so I am no longer dating other men. But we can be transparent with eachother. We didn’t play games with eachother but I would say that I would mirror his efforts. If he planned one date, I would suggest what we should do for the other and that drives him to plan more dates and make more effort. I never call him unless I missed his call but he did request I send him morning messages first since he calls me first (he used to do it) and I happily agreed. He never misses calling me in the evening and whenever we see eachother it’s always positive, fun and amazing…..bare in mind we also NEVER did anything sexual with eachother until after we became official. So I commend this article, men take time so if you feel impatient just date other men and stop getting so emotionally caught up with men who don’t want you as you want.

  9. 89
    K Thomas

    I’m also confused on how long it took you to tell your wife that she’s your girlfriend versus how long before you slept together? You tell us to wait until we’re exclusive boyfriend and girlfriend before sleeping together, and to give him 6-8 weeks to do that….is that what happened with you and your wife?

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