I’m 28, have a great job in a career I love, and people tell me I’m an attractive woman.
I go out a lot, and during the first few times with a guy, I’m usually open-minded, thinking this is a nice person I’ll see again.
But that’s when I get the signal that there’s something wrong.
Just two examples: One guy invited me back to see his place; though it was obvious he’s a committed hoarder.
And the guy who, after a few dates, seemed creepy... like it wouldn’t be surprising to find a human foot in his frig!
My friends say I always see the good in people. Is that why it takes at least three dates for me to realize I never want to see these men again?
I actually went out at least once with 25 guys during the course of last year (I journal, so I can count them), and am beginning to wonder if I’ll ever find someone to love and trust.
I’m ready for a relationship.
There are so many possibilities here that you can ask of yourself:
Are you dating indiscriminately – i.e. too many people, while knowing too little about them?
(This is common among people who tell themselves, “why not try?” about every “like” from a dating app or dating website).
Are you not as open-minded as you like to think, and need to be more selective sooner than the third date?
(This is commonly done by asking more questions during first contact, and then on the first date in person, if there still is one).
Are you less ready for a relationship than you think, and these seeming red flags (a foot you didn’t see) are your escape hatches?
Or, all of the above are playing a part.
My advice? Date less, ask more, and be selective.
We’ve been together for five months and it’s been wonderful, but for some blips on the way.
We’re both 40 and divorced (no kids), so we both really hope this will last.
However, he’s very reluctant to commit so soon, and I’m a little insecure about it. The upshot is that we both hold back at times and don’t say what’s on our minds.
Recently, I’d been away for work for a week so we were both eager to get together. But I was exhausted. Rather than tell him, I tried to be loving, sexy, etc. but ended up being moody. He was hurt.
I then said I had to travel a lot and for longer periods, and he said he understood, when I’d really just said it because I wanted him to say he’d miss me too much.
When he didn’t, I got hurt, and we spent a weekend of arguing petty stuff. Now I feel I tarnished his happy image of our relationship.
What do I do?
Stop trying too hard. The relationship is still early and going well - unless you push for what you know he’s not yet ready to give.
Better if you’d been honest, said you needed sleep, promised him a weekend of fun and romance starting the next day, and delivered.
Instead you created a set-up for something to go wrong.
Explain to him that you weren’t honest about your fatigue level. Then drop any mention of what you argued about.
Recognize that the misguided tactic of setting up a situation to manipulate him into saying he loves you and misses you, is often self-defeating.
It can push him away.
FEEDBACK Regarding the brother who had a mental health disorder of hoarding (June 22):
Reader – “My younger brother had mental challenges from the time he was born, but was eventually able to live independently as an adult.
“However, he was never able to hold a job and received disability allowance.
“He wasn’t good at keeping his apartment clean, but managed with help from us.
“He’d listen to my husband. We set up an account and put in money for some of the things he needed.
“Unfortunately, his abilities diminished and things got worse over time.
“His family doctor helped us persuade him to see a psychiatrist. But neglect of his health (diabetes) ended his life.
“Looking back, I feel that we should’ve tried sooner to get him to the psychiatrist but it was his choice not to go.
“Sometimes a person outside the family may be able to offer advice that’s more acceptable.”
Tip of the day:
Dating selectively means this: Fewer “try-outs,” increased communication, realistic assessments.