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Excerpts From the Coach's Mailbox
Dear Dating Coach-
There is a girl that I am interested in, But I am confused about an answer she gave me when I asked her if she was with anyone right now. Let me begin by telling you that she and I were friends when we were younger, then I moved away. We just recently ran into each other again. When I asked her if she was seeing anyone right now, she replied "Right now... Well... (Sighing) Yeah. But we can still get together sometime, maybe go somewhere." What does she mean by this? Does it mean that she is having trouble with her boyfriend and that she likes me and wants to go on a date? That seems to be the consensus of my friends.
-Interested But unsure
This lady's body language is saying that she is not happy about whom she is presently "seeing," and/or that she is unsure about him and the relationship. If you have this conversation with her again, try commenting on her body language- something like, "Sounds like you have some unsure feelings about him." This is a great way to get information. Take your time and give her the space to share her thoughts.
Dear Dating Coach-
I recently met a guy when I was out at a club with a friend. He and I really seemed to click and we spent a fun evening together. We kissed, but nothing more. He asked for my phone number, and said he would call. I got his contact information as well, and sent him a text message a couple of days later with a funny picture I had taken of him. I got no response and he hasn't called.
This happens to me a lot. My question is not what to do for this particular situation because I know there is nothing I can do. I'd like to know WHY guys make a point of asking for your information and saying they will call- and then never do it? Do they think this is the polite way to handle a lack of interest? It seems to me that it would be a lot nicer to just say, "You know, this was fun, but I just don't see it going anywhere." It would not have hurt my feelings, and I wouldn't be left waiting by the phone for someone who never had any intention of calling in the first place.
Do you have any advice regarding how to tell if the guy is just trying to be nice by pretending to want my number, so that I don't fall for this routine again? Or should I just expect this kind of behavior from someone I meet in a bar and who I kiss on the first encounter with?
Dear Dumped Again-
You responded to your first question quite well already. Some guys may be trying to be polite or spare the woman's feelings, so they go through the motions of asking for her contact information, saying they will call- then are never heard from again. Your feedback was right on- listen up guys. It is much nicer to be honest and direct, and not leave the woman waiting. The other possibility for his behavior is that he is trying to spare his own feelings- and just doesn't want to deal with your reaction and how it makes him feel.
My advice regarding reading men better would be to "listen" to their body language, and not so much to their words. What are their eyes, facial expressions, posture saying? Have they been really listening to you, asking questions, interested in what you have to share? Or do they look around the room, stand at an angle to you, avoid much eye contact and show little interest in what you have to say? After the kiss, what vibes did you get? Any pulling back or hesitation on his part?
About the kissing...He shared it with you. So, why are you taking responsibility for ruining your chances with men by "kissing on the first encounter?" There may be any number of good reasons not to kiss someone you don't really know- but this should not be one of them. It was a shared decision and a joint effort.
Next time you meet and connect with an interesting stranger, let your body language communicate that you like yourself, expect to be treated with respect and can handle honest feedback from him. Confident is interesting and sexy too.
Dear Dating Coach-
I met a man on the Internet and long story short, we fell for each other. We exchanged pictures and lots of personal information, and I really liked what I saw and heard. However, when I went to meet him in person, he looked nothing at all like his pictures. I thought I could get past it, but it isn't working. My conflict is that he's everything I want in a guy. He cares about not only me, but the well-being of my son. He always wants to talk to me, wants to see me happy, hasn't shown any signs of cheating, and many other important things. I just can't seem to get physically attracted to him. I know I "should" look past looks and everything, but I AM supposed to feel physically attracted to my partner at least a little bit, aren't I? I don't know if I'm doing this subconsciously because the last guy I was with hurt me so badly and I told myself I would never trust or fall for another guy. I really want to want him- because he's so great. I don't know what to do. Can you help me?
Dear Super Confused-
This question comes up so much that I have written an article and column on the topic. I think the best way to answer your question is to send you the links for these. Chemistry is important. We can't choose who to be attracted to- but sometimes attraction does grow and for some couples, the attraction they do have is enough for them. Only you can decide this.
Dear Dating Coach-
I am currently involved in a relationship that I believe is heading in the right direction. I enjoy my current girlfriend we have many similarities which I believe makes our relationship that much easier for us to get along and understand each other. I also have an ex-girlfriend that is 9 years older than I am. We went out for a year and I believed at the time I was not ready for the commitment of marriage and family that she was ready for. We had many fights and our relationship suffered. She told me she was in love with me but I couldn't say it to her because I was uncertain of how I felt. She had some jealousy issues as well and problems getting along with my family- who had problems with the age difference. My problem is that lately I have had found myself thinking about my ex often and even had a dream about her I don't know where all this suddenly coming from. I haven't mentioned it to my current girlfriend and I don't know what to think or do. Should I call my ex or how should I go about dealing with this situation?
- Thinking of Ex
It seems that your past relationship is not completely in the past. There could be a number of reasons for this, including:
Your present relationship is not really working for you
You never fully grieved for your ex and have leftover issues that need to be addressed
You are using your past relationship as a way to get out of the present one
I'm sending you a link for an article I wrote on this topic. Read it and see if it offers any insights or answers any of your questions.
Dear Dating Coach-
Recently an old, yet significant ex-boyfriend used the internet to reunite with me. He told me that he had looked for me periodically over the eight years since we parted- due to circumstances out of the control of either of us. This is the only man I have ever seriously discussed marriage with.
As we emailed back and forth he shared that he had seen my car in my parents' driveway and wondered where I was living and what I was doing with my life. Our communication was easy and comfortable and he was flirty and sweet- just the way I remembered him.
After numerous phone conversations and one brief visit (that I thought went very well) he stopped all contact. I broached the subject with him once via email, but received no response. Months passed with no word, and then he resurfaced with an email. He has brought up us getting together twice, but I had previous plans and we decided to meet up afterwards- but he has not followed through. He leads me to believe he is interested, and then this happens. One friend suggested that he may be seeing someone else, but I doubt that due to his frequent emails and calls to me. I can't help but wonder if he is excited, yet fearful my gut reaction is to just ignore his calls and texts and refuse to meet up at the end of a night out- and instead to find a night we can go out and spend some real time together. We both have young children, so scheduling can be a challenge.
I'm thoroughly confused by his behavior and unsure of how to proceed. I did leave him a message tonight telling him he should have let me know that he couldn't get together, instead of just disappearing. Was I wrong? Should I waste any more time and energy on this guy?
- Reuniting With An Ex
Clearly this guy has fond memories and wanted to look you up and perhaps experience talking to you now-and seeing what you two would be like together at this time in your lives. However, his appearances, then disappearances are suspicious. It is possible he was/is with someone else and they were/are going through a rocky place in their relationship or even a recent split. Something led him to think of you.
However, his suddenly not communicating indicates one of several possibilities. He could be seeing someone and considering moving the relationship to the next level- but wants reassurance about his decision, or perhaps he has been dissatisfied with the women he has been seeing and wondering, "What if?" Until he can give you a solid reason for his behavior, beware.
As you know, when you really want to be with someone, you are consistent in your communication and stay in touch- letting them know you are interested in moving forward. His behavior indicates an unsureness or a situation he is dealing with that he has not disclosed to you. When you speak to him, focus on this point and see what he says and does in response. Notice if he is upfront and non-defensive or closed and guarded. Your gut will tell you if something isn't right, and if it does- you will have your answer.
Dear Dating Coach-
Why do women ignore men and play stupid games? One of my favorites is when they see your number on the caller ID and just ignore you or listen to your voice mails and then not respond or read your texts, but don't text back. Then when you don't call them, they start calling you- and the cycle begins again. If they are interested, they should return calls and texts- right? I know that if a woman is interested she will pursue me, but the mixed messages are hard to deal with. How can I turn this situation around so that a woman I am interested in is straightforward with me?
-Tired of Games
I think the problem is with a certain type of woman who behaves this way- not all women. If a woman is really interested, she will be consistent in her communication and the messages she sends you. If not, and she just like the attention, but has no real interest- she may keep you "in the wings" until a better offer comes around. Try to develop a better radar for this kind of woman. A mature, together woman will not behave this way.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
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