When Jenny met Matt she thought it was true love. Finally, she had found a guy that did everything right. He would text her every day, pick her up at her house, pay for all their dinners, make plans in advance, and lavish her with compliments. He was perfect and after just three weeks, he was already saying those three little words.
So imagine Jenny’s surprise when after six weeks of dating, things started to change. The daily texts stopped first, and she began reaching out to him instead. Then the planning in advance came to a halt and it was all last minute, or late night get- togethers to “watch Netflix and Chill”. And finally, the amorous professions of love ended, and Jenny was left wondering where they stood.
“I feel like I need to have the DTR talk,” Jenny said to me one day. (That’s slang for Determine the Relationship.)
“I don’t think so,” I told her. “I think you know where your relationship stands. The question is, are you okay with it?”
“I was okay with it when he was paying more attention to me. Now I feel like I’m just there. How do I get him to be like he was before?” She asked me.
“Jenny, you’ve been “Love Bombed.” And the only thing you can do now is either accept the relationship for where it is now, or don’t accept it and move on.”
What Is Love Bombing?
Love bombing is when a guy attempts to win you over with over-the-top displays of attention and affection, but then, after a matter of weeks that all stops. Love Bombing happens frequently in today’s culture because technology makes it so easy to “bomb” someone with words of affection and future promises without having to do anything more than lift a finger (or more accurately; two thumbs.) Some love bombing is normal. When a guy first meets a girl, and is attracted to her, he will naturally want to impress her by going above and beyond her expectations. As the relationship settles down a bit, and the two become a couple, however, the avid pursuit to “win” her over wanes, but should be replaced by a happy, contented relationship. The problem with Love Bombing happens when either the girl doesn’t know how to be in a relationship, and demands the constant attention and reassurance that Love Bombing provides, or the guy is using “LB” as a technique to sleep with a girl or get her attached to him for his own selfish purposes.
How To Spot A Serial Love Bomber
Jenny eventually learned that Matt was a serial Love Bomber, and routinely came on strong with all his other girlfriends. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just had a habit of coming being overly effusive when he wasn’t yet in a relationship. But not all guys are like Matt, and some will Love Bomb you just to get what they want, and then leave you confused, disappointed, and still very single.
It’s important to be able to know when you are being “Love Bombed” and to remain skeptical if you see any of the following signs within the first few weeks:
– He texts you “Good Morning, Beautiful” every morning and “Good Night, Beautiful” every night, even though you just met (or haven’t met in person.)
– He talks about future plans, vacations, and even marriage and you’ve only been on a handful of dates.
– He comments or likes all your posts the minute you post them.
– In almost every communication with you, he flatters you.
– He professes his feelings right from the start and tells you he’s “never felt this way about anyone” and “can’t believe he met someone (you) that is so beautiful, special, smart, etc” and “knows already that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you.”
Be wary of Love Bombers because they can reel you in, sleep with you, and move on without hesitation. If you think you are perpetual victim of Love Bombing and need professional help, please email me about coaching at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love Bombers are notoriously looking for “soft targets” – women with low self-esteem that they can bomb and manipulate. Don’t let yourself be a victim again.
We all watched last night as Arie said goodbye to fair-haired Lauren and popped the question to “Better choice Becca”. Most of us cheered, as Becca seemed to be the total package. Pretty, fit, smart, and as her still infatuated ex-boyfriend pointed out, “a girl with a heart of gold.” Who could ask for more? Apparently Arie. The confusing thing to many viewers is, he seems to be opting for less. Although Lauren is beautiful and obviously sweet, she doesn’t seem to have the basic conversational skills that most people have. Kind of hard to imagine growing old with someone that doesn’t have much to say about …well, anything.
So why make the trade? If Arie could see his future with both women, why suddenly decide that the one he committed to, the one he could talk and laugh with for hours, the one he said he’d never be bored by, is not the one he wants? As a dating and relationship coach, I answer questions like this all the time. I’m asked by clients coming off their own break-up, why would their man suddenly throw away a good thing? The “why” behind a split is very important when it comes to closure, because if you don’t have a reason that makes sense to you, it can take months or years to find peace and move on. Since all of us don’t want to spend months (God forbid years) wrestling with the Ari-Becca-Lauren triangle, I’ll go ahead and tell you my two cents on why things went down this way. None of which you will hear tonight when Arie tries to explain himself.
This Is Arie
I believe Arie did fall for both Becca and Lauren. But, as I told my husband, if he met Becca on his own, they would have dated for a while and then ended up parting ways. She was never going to be the girl for him long term because Arie is not a guy with a strong personality, or a lot of confidence (both of which Becca has.) Sure, he may be a former race car driver, and for a spell that probably gave him an ego boost, but now he’s out of that business, and as Arie himself put it, “he is just a guy that barely graduated high school and worked at Pizza Hut (no offense Pizza Hut.) He is just not a “solid” guy. He’s a guy with doubts about himself and being coupled up with a women that is so self-assured and solid on her own doesn’t help give him his boost back. And that is what he’s looking for. He wants the girl that looks at him as if she’s struck gold, the girl that won’t challenge him, the girl who thinks everything he says or does is absolutely right and perfect because it soothes his own insecurities. With Becca they would be equal partners, and he’d rather be Lauren’s savior.
Let me be crystal clear on one thing here before I leave you, though. I do believe that Becca would have eventually grown frustrated and dissatisfied with Arie. After a few years together, she would have ended up wearing the pants in that relationship and I don’t think that’s what she ultimately envisions for herself. So, although she may be heartbroken now, I am confident that she will find a man that is much better suited for her. And to any single girls reading this thinking that you have to play dumb or be a “yes girl” to get a guy, that’s not the lesson here. Men love smart, confident women (case in point, Arie PICKED and PROPOSED to Becca first!) This is just what happened here with these three people and why Arie did what he did. In the end, he’s making the right decision for himself now. He and Lauren will probably get engaged and live happily ever after.
I read your book “You Lost Him At Hello” three years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, and it was eye opening for me. I have definitely fixed a lot of my mistakes, but the main problem I would say that I am still having is keeping guys interested and making them excited about me. I don’t think the problem is that I am too clingy because I definitely mirror their texting patterns. I feel like I have a lot to offer, but they are not seeing this or feeling like they “have” to be with me. I guess I would say that I am not good at “selling myself.” I sometimes find myself pointing out my flaws, downplaying my accomplishments, or being self deprecating because I am worried I will intimidate them. I don’t think I always used to do this and I’m not sure when it started.
Also, I thought that once I graduated college, people would be over the “hook up culture” (which has never been my thing) but that appears to not be the case. That being said, another problem I have is getting guys to ask me on dates instead of just asking me where I’m going out on a Friday night. There is one guy in particular who I think is interested in me, but I don’t know what I can do to pave the way for him to ask me on a date instead of how this usually goes. What can I do to make it very clear that I am interested, but also turn down “those” kinds of offers in the hopes of a date?
Thanks for your question and for reading my book. I’m so glad it helped. I think your recent situation with the guy who won’t “officially” ask you out also points to your overall problem of not getting guys overly excited to be with you. I have good and bad news for you. First, the bad…due to social media, texting, and everything in between that keeps people so easily and instantly connected at all times, the dating culture has drastically changed, and men have changed right along with it. In the past, it took real work to see a girl and get her to meet up with you. You had to get her number, call her on the phone, and actually make plans to do something together. But now, a guy can incorporate you into his already laid plans…and this is to his benefit for two reasons; one, he risks no sort of rejection by just seeing what you are up to and where you might be on a friday night, and two, he can up his odds of getting some sort of female interaction by asking multiple girls what they are doing on the same night. Depending on how many girls respond, and who is at the top of his list, he can then cancel (or just not follow through, most likely) with the others. This is what’s happening everywhere and to every female under the age of 30 (and some who are over.) There is little you can do about the way things have changed in respect to dating, but you do have control over how you respond to guys and that can make a big difference with the good ones (the bad ones will just move on to someone who’s easier).
Here is what you can do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with meeting a guy out with his friends when you first start talking with him. Whether you’ve met him in person, know him from school, or have only interacted online, you can accept an invitation to meet up with him and his buddies. Standing firm that he has to ask you out in a traditional sense in order to see you is risking him either not getting the hint, or losing out because he just doesn’t have the nerve or motivation (yet). What you should do is meet up, have fun, dance, laugh, flirt, and then LEAVE. If you have read my book, you know all about the height of impulse and that is a very powerful move that will help you in this situation. When you are leaving, and the guy is asking you to go back to his place, or trying to kiss you, you have the opportunity to say in a cute, flirty way, “Sorry, I haven’t even been on a date with you yet. I just don’t go around making out with guys at bars. But you have my number, so if you’re interested in going out, text me.” Give him your best “you-know-you-want-to” smile, and walk away. As I said, the good guys will respect the fact that you respect yourself. The bad ones will be annoyed that they aren’t getting laid that night. How your guy responds to this will tell you which category he falls in.
As for the problem of not selling yourself well…you definitely don’t want to point out your real flaws to a guy you just started having a thing with. You can downplay what you know is not a true flaw, though. Think Ariana Grande telling a guy, “I’m just kind of an average singer.” You don’t want to brag to a guy, of course, but you also don’t want to pick yourself apart in front of him. Neither is attractive. And here is some final good news for you. If you and all your friends decide not to allow guys to “get” you without any real work, you will actually help them learn how to be true gentleman. If all women require a proper date, all men will comply. So when you tell the guy at the bar, “You gotta date me” you aren’t only helping yourself, you’re helping other women, and the entire male population.
For more answers to questions like this, check out my Q&A book, “Was It Something I Said? The answer to all your dating dilemmas.”
You may have read the recent Fox article, where author Suzanne Venker claims that today’s men don’t want to marry because women are angry and defensive, but I don’t think you should believe it. Not for a second. Sure, high-powered, angry, aggressive women with an I-don’t-need-a-man attitude do exist. We all know of one or two of them, and their uber independent persona is uninviting to not just men, but to most everyone they meet. However, the majority of women I know on a personal and professional level are warm, caring, sensitive creatures that can also pay their own rent and change a flat tire. This does not make men obsolete, nor do I think it makes them feel that way. Men were not created to merely change light bulbs and pay bills. Yes, for years they were the hunters and we the gatherers, but ask my husband the last time he hunted through Whole foods and brought home some actual bacon? It was 2008. And you know what? He’s happy as a clam that I do the grocery shopping! Just because women have become more capable, does not mean men aren’t attracted to us and don’t want to marry us. To purport that women becoming more equal to men makes a relationship harder is, I’m sorry, ridiculous. As my friend, Dr. Stephen Williams states, “Women are able to be more who they really are today than ever before.” So Suzanne, with all due respect I don’t think we need to, as you put it, “surrender to our nature.”
There is, in my opinion, another reason that some men aren’t keen on committing.
Until the 1960’s invention of the birth control pill, men and women did not engage in casual dating and they certainly did not have casual sex. For centuries, courting a woman was a ritual, and both men and women abided by certain rules. Today, there are no rules! Where once upon a time, a man had to call on a woman at her home, in front of her family, in order to see her for an hour or two, a guy can now just pick her up at a bar and take her home for a late night romp. Before birth control, men and women did not engage in sex before marriage. It was too risky. So what did men and women have to do in order to have a physical relationship? You guessed right! They took a trip down the aisle and made their relationship permanent. The fact that they do not have to get married in order to have sex today, is one of the major reasons that both men and women are delaying marriage or opting out of it completely. It is not because women are more capable and thus, more angry and defensive.
Whether you are a career focused, take charge, kind of woman or you are a family-oriented, Susie homemaker type of gal, the fact remains the same. If you have sex early in a relationship, before a commitment is established, the likeliness of cultivating something long term greatly diminishes. A recent study confirms that couples who engage in early hanky-panky had the worst relationship outcomes. Unfortunately in today’s datingsphere it is common for men to have different expectations on when sex is going to happen. If you are dealing with a guy who has had several past girlfriends put out too early, you may need to reel in his expectations with you. Many women don’t know how to do this and thus they simply give in because they feel obliged. In my book, Was it Something I Said? I talk about how to put off sex but still let a man know you are interested in him, and still keep him interested in you. That way you can continue to have a fun, exciting relationship while increasing your chances for a long term romance.
If there is any truth to female wrath scaring men from matrimony, it’s only due to having a premature sexual relationship. Have sex with a woman and then don’t call her for five days and yes, you will find her angry and defensive. But I ask you, can you blame her?
To learn how to tell a man you aren’t ready for sex, but still keep him in hot pursuit, as well as how to talk to men about other troublesome topics, check out “Was it Something I Said?: The Answer to All Your Dating Dilemmas.”
If you go on every date, and enter every relationship expecting it to result in marriage, you are going to suffer heartache your whole life. While the purpose of dating is to find the right person and eventually settle down, the function of dating is to simply get to know the other person so you may determine if they are right for you. I may sound like a pessimist right now, but in truth you will only marry ONE person. So the other 20 you had to date to find him are not going to work out. If you start to accept this fact, instead of fight it, you will find yourself hating dating much less. You won’t be so disappointed when you learn that the guy you’ve been seeing for four weeks is not right for you. You will think, “Oh well. He’s just not right for me. Guess I have to try again,” instead of lying in bed for days wondering what you did or said that chased him away.
There is a second problem with expecting a relationship to work out from the get-go. If you have already decided that this is it, and he’s most likely the one, you are more apt to over look red flags. You are more likely to accept his bad temper or severe mood swings because in your mind you’ve already committed to the idea of you two together. I have a friend who is very unhappily married to a man she is constantly fighting with and crying over. Their courtship was extremely rocky and there were numerous times that she contemplated getting out. However, even though she often felt compelled to walk away, she didn’t because as she says, “when I met him, something told me he was the one.” The expectation of the relationship working out kept her from breaking free. Because she convinced herself he was her future husband, nothing (not even him stealing money from her) was going to change her mind. Now she’s married and just as miserable. Continue reading