Thursday, September 27, 2007

Down, Boy!

Hi Terry,

I just love your advice and down-to-earth common sense. Would love your opinion on my own individual situation and wonder if this happens to any other women.

I am on an internet dating service, and I get heaps of contacts and my choice of dates from desirable men.

However, from date one they seem very keen, almost too keen and start talking romance straight away, then sending me texts professing their interest and desire. This freaks me out a little and I feel they are coming on too strong, too soon.

When I try to slow the pace down to a level that is comfortable to me, they seem to take offence and move on to someone else pretty quickly.

Last week, for example, I met a great guy for a coffee after he contacted me on the dating site. It was obvious he was really into me and asked me out to dinner that coming weekend. I wasn’t sure if I was attracted to him or not. I need more than one date usually to know.

When he phoned me during the week he came on pretty strong again, so I suggested we start just as friends initially.

He then emailed me later to cancel the date with the excuse that he was giving dating a miss for a while. But he has continued to stay on the site, so this seems untrue and was his way of giving me the brush off.

So, now I am wondering if I am sabotaging these relationships too early, or if these men are not able to accept what I consider to be reasonable boundaries.

Please help. I am now ...


Dear Confused:

Thanks for the kind words.

Judging by the response you're getting online, you must be very attractive! The fact that the men you meet are smitten with you is an excellent sign, as well.

However, you're right to take things slowly. Why shouldn't you be allowed to take your time in getting to know a man and letting an attraction develop?

Unfortunately, once you say, "Let's start out as friends," lots of men interpret that to mean, "I'm not interested in you."

If a man starts coming on too strong, you might smile and say, "Let's see what happens. I'm looking forward to dinner Saturday night."

If he sends a flowery text, I'd respond the same way. That way, you can hold him off a bit without letting him think he's been rejected.



jeff mac, said...

Hey Terry,

I totally agree that "Let's start out as friends," is probably a bad idea. Even with a decent guy, that reads as, "This person is online dating, but she wants FRIENDS? What IS this?"

Or, to quote Jerry Seinfeld in a similar situation, "She wants to be friends...Who wants a friend?"

However, these are likely not decent guys. It sounds to me like "Confused" is running into lots of guys who are desperately trying to get laid. This is one of those situations where the behavior tells it all. They come after her, all guns blazing. But when she implies that sex is not happening soon, they disappear.

"Confused" isn't sabotaging the relationships too early. Not at all. The guys she's describing weren't interested in "relationships" in the first place. They were hoping for some action.

Unfortunately, it's the curse of being (evidently) pretty hot. You're going to have to sift through a lot more of the guys who are only interested in sex, to find the guys who are interested in actually dating. (And also sex. We're pretty much all going to want that.)

Terry said...

Thanks for the manslation. I appreciate your take on the matter, Jeff!