General Dating Questions/men and relationships

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QUESTION: Hi, i'm looking to gain some insight into my situation. I met someone 5 months ago who i'm still trying to figure out. I met him soon after I got out of a hurtful relationship and after being played so much my guard is up and i said this guy was just supposed to be a "bootycall no strings attached" done and over. But then we started to talk and get to know each other and see each other more - not once did i give in and tell him i am starting to get any feelings but told him were just friends "with benefits". He on the other hand has actually started to open up and tell me how he was with other girls he could care less about them he got bored too easily off them, but is genuinely starting to like me since i'm different i didnt try to "set up shop with him right away". So now he's started to tell his friends about me I met one of his roomates who told him to hold on to me - i laughed when he told me that. I keep telling him were staying friends why wreck anything and make it complicated with relationships - worse part he lives an hour away, i dont really trust him, especially when hes clubbing with his boys who knows what hes doing. I know he likes me I see it but I don't fully trust him, based on my history as well. He's asked me what I want, what i'm looking for he's shown interest. Were both 30 and we both still like to go out and have fun. So my question is I'm trying hard not to care or get "feelings" for this man but it's getting harder - worse part is since i was intimate and had no intentions of pursuing this further. Could he sincerely want to settle down? He's told me before I scare him he always has been a runner from relationships and so have I. Whats your advice? Do i remain telling him were only friends now without benefits or do i say are you ready to commit? do i give it more time and tell him he can find someone closer to him? I'm not sure how to read him.

ANSWER: Hello Tammy!

Here's the problem you have: you and he are at a distance.

That's not just a problem for any potential relationship; it's a problem for your own brains and deals with specifics about how the mind works.

First of all, you and he slept together early on in your association. That's actually a good thing if a relationship were to form since it's not until AFTER you've had sex that a guy can deal with his own emotional interests in someone else. Women who are looking for relationships make this mistake all the time trying to hold off a guy they're interested in and thinking that if he spends time "investing" in her that he'll be more likely to stick around. Nothing is further from the truth.

In your situation however, the distance is creating the problem of him wanting more with you than you want. I'm guessing you met him on the internet. Thus, he has some basic "seeds" of information to go on.

When you two are together, you're both at your best. He doesn't see you when you are angry or sad or PMS'ing, etc. He doesn't see you when you are frustrated or scared or messy or anything else. He just gets your best.

Further, during all the time you and he are apart, he gets to build an impression of you in his own head from the small tidbits of information he has about you. Consider that; when you're sitting across from someone you are actually getting a flood of information that you don't get when you're using technology (texting, email, calls, IM, video, etc.) to communicate.

Our brains operate at a huge rate. In fact, we process information somewhere around 60,000 to 250,000 "impressions" per second. That's why; when you're sitting there talking to someone your brain picks up on all sorts of cues you wouldn't otherwise get. You notice things in person (the way we're designed to interact) that you never see at a distance. All of those impressions go into creating our picture of that other person.

However, at a distance something else happens.

Your brain doesn't shut down when you're not in-person. It still operates at the same rate. However, it doesn't have the same cues to work from, so instead, it fills them in for you! What do you think it has to work with? It doesn't have anything new, so instead, it draws from YOUR OWN goals, dreams, wants, desires, expectations, wishes, etc., etc., etc.

Think about how powerful that can be. It's far, far more likely to people at a distance to fall in love than it is for someone local to do the same. Now you know why! In effect, that long-distance person becomes "perfect" since they are imbued with all those attributes someone wants them to have - whether they actually have them or not!

This is why LDR's are so dangerous and I constantly warn people against them. Further, people who are in them that break up go through a lot more emotional damage than those that are local for similar reasons.

So, that was a long explanation to answer your question, but armed with his new understanding...

Yes, he could very sincerely want to settle down. The problem is; it's not with you. It's with his idealized belief of who you are - someone you absolutely are not. Of course you "scare him". He's built this image of you as the "perfect woman" (from all of his own internal goals) and how could he ever meet anyone else so "perfect"? Of course, you are NOT this woman - at least not the one he thinks you are. Therein lies the problem. He wants someone you are not and can never be.

Now, here's my problem: you haven't told me what YOU want. Thus, I can't tell you what to do or how to do it. You need to consider what I've told you so far and consider what your goals are - if you even have them.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
818.334.8826
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Wow thats good. I honestly see the same pattern as the last 2 LDR's i've had, and i met this one at a club I actually approached him. I think at this point I do want commitment and i feel like i want to be upfront with him that were either strictly going to be friends or i'll be looking for commitment elsewhere since like you said LDr's are too hard, the trust issue would drive me insane i only see him 3-4x a month, but he calls me everyday! sometimes just off that I get moody but I like the space, i'm actually glad I don't have to see him every single day. I'm just not sure how to proceed with this - i've tried to push him away to have someone closer to him but he wont budge.

Answer
Hello again Tammy!

Thanks. I see this same pattern happening multiple times per week with many different people yet some are ridiculously militant about the point. They defend their "great LDR" angrily and claim it's just as "real" as any other type of relationship! This is such a huge problem that I devoted an entire chapter to the issue in my newest book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World III". Poor, dumb bastards, if they only knew the facts.

It's obvious that you both want the same things. The difference however is that you don't sound like you want the same thing with him. I actually think fuck-buddies are great but this is getting beyond your ability to control it. Saying you want to stay "just friends" (with or without benefits) isn't going to help him deal with it at all. He may very well agree, but it won't be because he wants it or believes that's all it'll be.

Let's face it; staying friends with him while knowing what he really wants from you is cruel and selfish. You get what you want but knowingly deny him what he wants. Thus, this isn't a situation where you can't "push him away" and then hope he accepts it.

If you want something more with him someone is going to need to move. If you want something more in your life without him you need to completely end this. Would you cut a dog's tail off piece by piece? Of course not. You shouldn't do that with him either.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
818.334.8826
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

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Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: http://beingaman.com. You can email me directly at: dwneder@beingaman.com.

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I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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Doctor of Philosophy

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