I received some great dating/relationship advice from one of my female readers, and I think it’s valuable enough to share with you.
Here’s her email:
Ok, so I came across your blog and just love it! I am a
woman and totally agree with your interpretation of us. We
do “feel” our relationships much more than logically
analyze them. (Although I love logic too, I just use it in
other areas of my life.)
So my question to you is: What happens with this cool,
confident guy after dating a girl exclusively for years? I
mean, not calling back right away and not showering you
with gifts is great in the beginning, but after awhile we
want some attention or some sign that this guy really cares
for us. Is it needy if a woman wants her partner to spend
time with her? Maybe 3-4 nights a week. (Remember they have
been dating for almost three years now.)
Can you please tell men how to keep us around once they
have won us over. The same thing that attracted me to my
man was his independence, now it seems that’s all he wants
after all this time. I don’t want to chase him anymore, and
His cavalier attitude won me over, but in the end it is
what made me leave.
Thanks for the email Mai, I appreciate your thoughts and insights. I completely agree with you, and I see it all of the time!
I should first mention that my blog is really written for those guys who are having trouble getting through the initial attraction stage of dating (the first ten dates.) What you’re describing comes from a very different dynamic – long-term relationships.
First, a tiny bit of background: from my experience sexual relationships tend to follow a very specific structure – Attraction, Rapport, and Intimacy.
Most platonic friendships go through these same phases, except without any sexual polarity.
For example one of my best friends and I became friends because I was attracted to his skills as a filmmaker. We later discovered we shared many values (rapport) and ultimately we’ve become very close (intimacy through trust.) Since we’re both guy’s there is absolutely no sexual interest, and therefore no sexual polarity.
I’m explaining this because your described relationship with your ex-boyfriend seems to be missing the last phase – Intimacy.
I will assume you were both sharing secrets, and you were both having sex, but there is a level of intimacy that’s often avoided by men simply because they fear commitment, trust, and vulnerability.
Given I don’t really know your situation it’s possible that he really WAS being completely open with you in which case my only other suspicion is that you were completely ignoring the Red Flags of his Dis-Interest. Men will stick around for years if the sex is great, and if his woman isn’t likely to leave. Had you demanded more from him, earlier on, you would have saved yourself a few years of “waiting to see.”
What can we all learn from your experience?
As a woman you should really come to know your own timelines and expectations. Hopefully it’s well under the 3 years you lasted this time, and yet still healthy and un-jaded enough to let the next guy have a real chance at getting to know you.
And for the guys who read this, take note: Women want you to be fun, and perhaps somewhat evasive (at first), with the understanding that (eventually) she really DOES want to catch you.
The push and pull of attraction really does draw her in (teasing, flirting, not always being available), but all long-term relationships need a level of certainty that initial dating doesn’t (commitment, rapport, and intimacy).