Question of the Month
Ask J - July 2009
I must have struck a nerve last month with the answers provided in the man vs woman dating process. I've gotten a ton of email with similar questions. I decided to post one more. It would be much easier to put the book together. I will get this info out to you asap. Thanks for all the inquiries.
Question: "I'm very fond of this man. We began communicating in March 09. I felt an instant connection right away and he has said the same thing. He and I have been out; shared intimate moments; meals; laughs, and he's there when I need him. He has shared a lot of himself with me. Because we live directly across from each other it started out being a bit difficult not wanting to always knock on his door; or seeing him having guest. He stated he had friends; but no girlfriend.
We don't smother one another. (He stated at the beginning that he wasn't looking for a relationship) and I stated I wasn't looking for a booty call. We continued to see each other... My feeling got involved and I am certain that he has feelings for me;...Now.... I admit things happened so quickly.....he swept me off my feet... I expressed to him how I felt (in April!).
There was also two incidences that happened that caused him to flair his nostrils a bit that involved other men (one was a neighbor and the other lived in the area; but not close by) I would speak to them and that’s it. After the dust had passed, he said he was looking at things differently....I asked what that meant and he said he was watching me in a different manner. Now mind you; we’ve done more together after that happened than before. He’s fond of my kids and it just drives me crazy. He has introduced me to his daughter, co-workers, family and friends.
He has said several things and has acted and has made comments in ways to make "me" believe he has changed his mind about wanting a relationship. We talk all the time; take rides; hold hands, and it’s driving me nuts. At first I was listening to what he said; now I’m watching what he does and still confused. I’ve never been in this “place” before. I was just enjoying the moment. Why are men so difficult to read. Please help! I know I’ve jump all over the place; but it’s so much to say".
Answer: - Hello and thanks for writing.
You are experiencing the “Dance of Romance”. It goes like this.
You are not the only one confused by this, he is too. He knows what he said in the beginning. His battles with relationships are a bit different. He has his hurts shaping his ideas of what a relationship means. As much as he would enjoy a relationship, there is that nagging feeling of being single – which produces the mixed signals. The question for him then becomes, “How can I have a relationship (possession) and be free to enjoy my life as I see fit?” It’s quite daunting to move from a place of non-commitment to one of commitment. The sacrifice seems to be overwhelming. It is a struggle.
Here’s the key to understanding mixed signals. When a person says one thing but does another, you can be sure that his actions are what they really feel.
Our innermost desire is to have more life. What does that mean? It means that what we call love, sex, money, food, etc. is our feeble attempt at getting more life. We don’t spend the time trying to figure this out so we substitute that longing with things, other people, drugs, to name a few.
Here’s what I suggest you do. Stop trying to figure him out. Why do you need to anyway? You are attracted to him because he represents something that you feel you need or want in your life right now, which makes you incomplete. Now is the time for you to focus on you and answer some hard questions.
Number 4 is tricky for you ladies. Most of you growing up were taught that sex was naughty. As much as you enjoy it, you can’t possibly just have sex --- It has to mean something. Good girls don’t do that. Re-examine your ideas about that and retrace your beliefs. Sex is good, period, end of story.
We have a tendency to live life with bicameral thinking. We react the same way to the same stimulus only to question it after we grasp it. Someone on a diet will automatically eat that slice of cake and then question why. People will quickly enter into compromising relationships only to ask why when they are hooked. Falling in love or like is a learned behavior and solely based on an automatic response to a particular stimulus.
He didn’t sweep you off your feet, you set the rules to your game and he agreed (unknowingly) to play it as well as you agreeing to play his game of automatic seduction. This may seem too scientific so let’s get down and dirty for a moment, get real, and get simple.
Get a pen and some paper and let’s get to work. This is about you right now. You must figure out what “more life” means to you. If being in a relationship with this man is what you want; then, you must figure out exactly what you want from it. So I ask you, “What do you want from this relationship?” Write it down.
Stop trying to figure this man or any other man out. If you can’t figure us out, you are thinking too hard. We are not that complicated (see this). Once you know what you want and it is of value to you, take him out to dinner (you take him, tell him to leave his wallet home), order your favorite relaxing beverage and put yourself out there. Look him in the eye and tell him what it is you want and expect in a relationship. He can either agree or disagree to participate with you (see this).
If he agrees, then you have set boundaries for the way your relationship goes and hold him to his word (be realistic). If he disagrees, then move on and never accept less than what you want. When you do that, you will mindfully and intently attract the right man to you. But, you need to be honest about what you want and don’t be afraid to stand strong and wait.
To a man, the beauty of a woman is a most prized possession as it should be. Unfortunately, we (like children) seem not to be able to have just one. It’s in our nature. We can overcome that nature but you must be stronger than we are. You must have the fortitude to walk away without excuse. You must love yourself enough to accept and enjoy moments of being single and send him on his way.