Doc Love Dating Advice
WHAT IF SHE WON’T COMMIT -- BUT WON’T LET GO?
Women Don’t Lie - Men Don’t Listen
Success Coach - Doc Love
I started dating Erin in August 2002. We had about five or six dates, but were otherwise seeing other people and things were moving very slowly. In December she asked me to go to New York for New Year’s Eve. We went, had a fantastic time, and then things took off more seriously. From that point, we both decided to date each other exclusively.
We had a fabulous time together. I fell in love with Erin and she fell in love with me. We went on a number of trips together and I treated her like gold. She was good to me in return, though I would have preferred she was more of a Giver. All in all, however, she is a fantastic woman and has the kind of values that I want in a life partner. However, I can see now that to some extent I was not much of a Challenge as time went on.
We are both conservative and would never live together before marriage, so moving in with Erin was never an issue -- it was always when and if we were going to get married. And marrying her was something I was mentally preparing to do, but I was just waiting for her signals to me to become more clear. About two months ago, I noticed subtle changes in her behavior. She did a few minor things that indicated she was losing interest, so I asked her if that was the case. She assured me this was not so, and being in a state of mind where I heard her say what I wanted to hear, I chose to believe her.
Well, one day out of nowhere she suggests that she needs “time apart.” Not being a total idiot, I said time apart wasn’t for me, and I defined my boundaries quite clearly and said if she was committed to me, then great, but if she wasn’t, we should stop seeing each other altogether and just end things like adults. She did not like me setting my boundaries so strictly because I suspect they were rather unsettling for her and not convenient for whatever it was she was trying to achieve.
Anyway, for the past six weeks I’ve been trying to distance myself from Erin (a painful and difficult experience). Over this same time period she has shown up at my house (unannounced!) to “visit my family” when she knew I was there, she has called me numerous times and has sent me a number of e-mails. Initially I was sucked into these antics, such as on one occasion on my deceased mother’s birthday when Erin’s sister was giving birth that same day. She called upset, so I took a pizza to her house to cheer her up. On another occasion, I accidentally bumped into her when I was out with a (female) friend for a drink. Every encounter with her is totally awkward and draining, and last week I reiterated to her that I wanted to stay away from her until she has some clarity about what she wants, and in the meantime I’m going to get on with my life.
Given that I genuinely love this woman and care for her deeply, what would you recommend that I do? I can’t allow her to treat me like a revolving door, but I don’t want to entirely shut her out if she is somehow trying to extend an olive branch without coming right out and saying it. As we all know, woman are best judged by their actions, and right now hers are rather inconsistent (which implies low interest). I know I can’t do anything to control her, but when she contacts me again (which she inevitably will, either in person, or by phone or e-mail) what is the best thing for me to do?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Les – who is “Mister Confused”
Let’s clear something up right out of the chute. The decision to “date exclusively” wasn’t made by you and Erin together. She decided to date you exclusively. What have I told you guys in the past? We pick, but they choose. Big difference, and one you shouldn’t lose sight of. And why did she make that decision? Because you managed to drive her Interest Level up into the 90s. At least for a little while.
Les, when you use the word “gold,” I’m very suspicious that you’re acting like a stooge. I’m the best love cop on earth, and my evidence for saying that is that Erin’s Interest Level, by your own admission, began to drop. And as time goes on, being anti-Challenge will continue to lower Interest Level. (But I do want to compliment you on recognizing that Erin was not a Giver. You recognized that one-third of what she has to offer you wasn’t all that great, so you were down to two-thirds of a woman.) So let’s get this straight, pal – moving in with Erin was never an issue, not because you went to the same church, but because she had lowered Interest Level in you.
It’s worth looking at this phenomenon more closely. Interest Level doesn’t plummet suddenly from 95% to 35%. It sinks slowly, as the guy – you, in this case – says and does all the wrong things. And the guy thinks that he can get away with it because the girl is already locked in. And she is -- when her Interest Level is at 95%. But eventually it will drop to 93%...then 89%...and then 84%...and when it hits the magic number of 49%, that’s it, boy – you’re all washed up.
Now Les, I’ll give you $100 million if you can get a woman to say, when you ask her what she wants in a man, that she wants a guy who doesn’t lower her Interest Level by kissing her fanny. When Erin told you she needed time apart, you should have said nothing. You should have smiled and walked out. You don’t sit there and give her your game plan, you don’t tell her how you feel, you don’t tell her what you’re going to do – you leave. But you did all this stuff. And in her mind, it was another wimpy form of begging.
You went on to tell her that you should break up like adults. Les, exactly how do adults break up? As far as I know, there are no sweet, mature ways to do it. When Erin informed you that she needed her space that was it. Finito. The end. You’d hit the magic number: 49%. Of course she’ll play with you like a cat plays with a mouse at 40%-49%, give you a little false hope, but when it hits 39%, she’s in the arms of another guy. In other words, she’ll play with your head until she strikes paydirt with another jerk, another weakling.
But whoa, wait a second here -- you got tough and set some hard boundaries that really bothered your girl, huh? Sorry, Les, but she wasn’t really upset. It was just a little smokescreen she threw up that had nothing to do with anything. She was grabbing at something, anything, to indicate her low Interest Level. (The problem is, women never come out and say it. “He lowered my Interest Level due to his deportment,” is not something you’ll ever hear tumble out of a lady’s lovely bee-stung lips.)
So what happened to all those tight boundaries when Erin showed up at your home? Why didn’t you just duck out? Why didn’t you tell her you were going to the kitchen for a second, then walk straight out the back door and come back at midnight?
Because you wanted the torture. I just hope you haven’t answered any of her phone calls or e-mails. I have a feeling you did, though. Know why? Because you took that pizza with the works over to her when she didn’t even ask you to. A huge, huge mistake. Les -- you’re delivering pizza? Aren’t you a little embarrassed, at your age, to be a delivery boy for a girl who doesn’t want to possess you?
What you should have done when you bumped into Erin was start making time with your female friend. “I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you kiss me in front of her,” you should have offered your gal-pal. Know why these encounters are so draining? Because you’re not prepared for them. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Keep it fun and keep it light. And never, ever let ’em know they got to you!” You have to be on top of your game at all times, buddy.
Unfortunately, Erin doesn’t give a hoot, Les. Until she’s crying on your doorstep for you to take her back, she’s got all the clarity she needs. How many times do I have to tell you guys -- the woman only cares about her feelings? In her mind that’s all that counts.
She’s extending an olive branch, you say? They’re Molotov cocktails she’s hurling at you, man! Can’t you tell the difference? (Hint: the Molotov cocktail’s the quart of gasoline with the burning rag hanging out of it, dummy!) Jeez, you’d have better luck negotiating with Fidel Castro! Inconsistent actions, you say? Wrong! She’s very consistent. She said she needed her freedom, and she’s not in your arms! Sounds totally consistent to me.
The best thing for you to do now, Les, is block Erin’s incoming e-mails. If she calls you on the phone and you accidentally pick up, say “How have you been, baby? Look, I’d like to talk to you, but my date’s in the bathroom. But I want you to know something. She doesn’t mean a thing to me. You know you’re the one. So keep in touch….” Click. Then go back to reading the Bible.
Remember, guys: when it’s over, leave first.
To send me your love questions of to find out more about “The System,” visit me at http://www.doclove.com or call (800) 404-2644.
Doc Love is a talk show host and entertainment speaker who coaches men in his seminars. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, “Why do you stay with one man versus another?”
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