Monday, June 15, 2009

What's the Deal With This Guy?

Dear Terry,

I recently purchased and read your ebook and have been reading your emails for months - all good advice. I have a particular question to ask your advice on. I dated a guy (friend of a friend) a year ago - we only went out 4 or 5 times before he ended it saying he loved spending time with me but wasn't sure if there were "butterflies." I was sad b/c I really liked him and he is such a wonderful guy, but respected his decision and moved on.

A few weeks ago, we were at a friend's party and spent most of the night talking to each other... after the party the two of us went on for drinks at a bar until closing time. For the last three weeks he has been really keen to hang out - about twice a week he asks me out to a movie or dinner etc. which I think it is quite frequent for 'just friends' (and many male friends of mine agree, plus we both have fairly busy jobs and he has a lot of friends so twice a week seems a bit excessive, especially so 'all of a sudden'), plus he always sends an email the next day saying he 'had a great time with me' and makes plans to meet up soon.

I never ask him out or email him though I do agree to go out and respond warmly and positively to his emails etc. we always have a great time and stay up talking quite late... but so far no 'kiss' or movement towards something more than friends.

In general he is picky about who he dates (his friends say) and he has only dated me in the last three years (and even that was very brief, and he is a very eligible guy), so I think he is patient and doesn't like to rush into things or force things.

Two questions for you: 1. do you think (based on the limited knowledge you have) that he is interested and is just taking things slow given that he is a really nice guy and doesn't want to rush into something when we do have a history? 2. I try to follow all your advice in your book about visualizing etc - but now it is hard for me to do so without thinking of him... and I know you advice not to think of someone specific but really can't help it... he has all the qualities I am looking for and I am just generally really into him....what should I do?

Thank you for your advice - I can't believe I am emailing someone I don't know about this, but who knows - stranger things have happened and I really want this to work out so I am open to trying anything and everything.

-Baffled By His Behavior

Dear Baffled-

Thanks for the kind words.

Here's what sticks out from your message:

".... we always have a great time and stay up talking quite late... but so far no 'kiss' or movement towards something more than friends."

Now, this fellow is swallowing up two nights of your week, emailing you frequently, and generally helping himself to bigger than his fair share of your thoughts. You say his friends say he's picky, but I think you need to be picky, too, and not automatically hand over so much of your time to him.

I know you like him. I know you're crazy about him. I know it's difficult to say to someone you pine for, "Sorry, can't make it. I promised (insert name of fun, supportive friend here) I'd meet her after work for drinks."

But you have to do it.

You're right to be friendly and positive, but you're wrong to say yes to every invitation he issues when he hasn't kissed you or given you any indication of his feelings. You certainly don't want to fall head over heels for this guy and find out two weeks from now that he doesn't feel "butterflies," and have him tell you he's not to blame because he never led you on by getting physical.

It's possible he does like you. It's possible he wants to take things slow. It's also possible he's wasting your time. But it's not your problem to figure any of this out. It's not your responsibility to puzzle it out with his friends or yours.

In the future, take your time responding to his emails. When you do, be your usual pleasant, happy self. The next time he asks you out, be unavailable. (If he's interested in you, he will not be dissuaded from pursuing you because you made other plans.) Then be somewhat available but not always available. Let him understand that time with you is special.

I would agree to go out with him just once a week. If that doesn't increase his ardor, I'd think twice about seeing him at all.

You say it's difficult to visualize anybody else but him at this point (of course it is), so I suggest you suspend visualization for the time being. Concentrate on protecting your time and your heart.

If you haven't already, write a list of your very best qualities. Put down what you have to offer in black and white. Pull that list out of your pocket whenever you're tempted to see any guy only on his terms.

Also, I'll say it again: Get busy and keep busy. It's easier to say 'no' when you have other things to do. And when you're not with the guy, don't think about him. Don't talk about him. Keep your mind in the present, on the people who surround you.

I hope this helps.