Monday, July 02, 2007

Playing 'Hard to Get' the Right Way

Hi, Terry-

We talk about how to get a good man, make him pursue you, cherish you like a treasure all the time, but do you think we women need to get over our pride? If it hurts pretending that we don't care about that man, shouldn't we show we sincerely care about him?

I went out twice with a certain man from work and had a physical relationship. I liked him a lot, but in order to pretend to be cool, I agreed with him that we are just "physical." I didn't want him to think that I want a serious relationship so fast.

I know he liked me, too, but after that he doesn't answer my calls anymore. He still helps me at work and is friendly, but our intimacy seems gone. I don't know if he is not really interested in me or if my cool attitude stops him.

He is leaving the country soon (which I knew from the beginning), and I don't know if he is coming back. I am very depressed that I might lose him, especially when I know another girl has decided to follow him (yes, he is very popular. Most women like him).

Now he is not answering my calls or text messages. Should I get over my pride and visit him in the other country? Or should I tell him in person I want to be with him?


While there's no way in hell I'd travel to another country to see the guy, you have absolutely nothing to lose by telling him you loved getting to know him, and that you'll miss him.

I would tell him in person. I would look him in the eye. I would leave no room for doubt that you care for him a great deal. Then let him leave the country. Let him roll things around in his mind for a while. See if anything comes of it.

In the meantime, I would cease calling, texting, or emailing him immediately. Once you've told him how you feel, the ball is in his court. It is up to him to contact you. If you try to contact him, you'll push him in the wrong direction.

So say your bit and walk away.

I want to clarify something: Being proud and being cold are two different things. Being proud means you expect to be treated well. Being cold just makes people think you're not that crazy about them.

Think of it this way. If you dated a guy, and he told you he just wanted to be "physical," wouldn't you be confused if he called you and texted you afterwards?

Next time, try doing the opposite. Let a guy know you're interested in him by looking him in the eye and truly listening to him. Laugh at his jokes, if they're funny. Let him know you had a great time at the end of the night.

Most of the time, a guy will say, "I'll call you."

Which means he has taken it upon himself to initiate further contact. Take him at his word. Let him live up to it.

Let him call you.

Keep busy in the meantime. This is no time to camp out next to the phone. If he calls, go out with him. If he doesn't, move on. If he doesn't call until three weeks later, I wouldn't leap to go out with him again. If I really liked him, I might fit him in after a week or so.

As for this guy who's on his way out of the country, there's nothing you can do to make him return your affection. You just have to let him go. Whether he comes back and sees you for the great person you are is entirely up to him.

It's not easy, but it is freeing in a way, isn't it?




Anonymous said...

I think this is one of those situations where years from now, the poster will look back on this guy and ask herself "What was I thinking?" First of all - a guy who tells you at the very beginning that he only wants to be physical is telling you that he only wants a roll in the hay and nothing more. It will never develop into a relationship. There's just no winning in that situation. And, to compound things, he's not responding to texts and emails? This guy is pretty much announcing, loudly, that he is not available for a relationship. He is perfectly aware the poster is interested in him - he is choosing not to respond. If there's one thing that I've learned about men over the years, it's that they tend to assume that women are MORE interested in them then they really are. The only thing to do is let it go, move on, and find ways to distract yourself - and be THRILLED the guy is leaving the country so he won't be around to tempt you to keep hanging on to something that isn't going anywhere.

Terry said...

I think you're absolutely right. You make an excellent point when you say that men do tend to think we're more interested in them than we really are (amazing, isn't it?).

Which is why I say let 'em call us.

I suggested this reader tell the guy exactly how she feels because she has nothing to lose. Since she fears that he doesn't know that she cares (he probably does), it's only going to postpone her recovery if she keeps worrying what she should do next to convince him of her affection.

So let her be clear. What does she have to lose at this point?

Once he's out of there, she never has to see him again unless she makes the very grave mistake of following him, which may result in serious embarrassment.

I probably should have underscored that point.

And you're right again: If a guy announces he only wants a physical relationship, a woman shouldn't ever cross the line with him unless she's 100% sure she only wants a physical relationship.

Otherwise, she should tell him to get lost.

Margaret said...

I agree with Terry and anonymous. This is a tough lesson to learn....but if a man is truly interested, even if he is shy, scared whatever....he will let you know!!

I also agree that men always assume they are all that--even if they are fat, homely, unemployed, and substance abusers.

To the reader: Hang in there! you deserve better. Even if you don't find it right away (I am still waiting after being divorced 18 years) you are STILL better off alone.

I love Terry's Somerset Maugham(?sp) quote:

"It's a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything other than the very
best, you will quite often get it."

We should all have that on our refrigerators!