Jess, I have been seeing a guy for a few months now. We have been on and off since high school and just recently started dating more seriously. (Meaning we’re both putting in an equal amount of effort) my worry is that I feel like I am making myself too available. We have not slept together yet, and the one time we got close to he stopped it at the last minute. I feel like he has me in the palm of his hand! How do I pull away and make him chase me without making him think I’m no longer interested?
I have a feeling that you two have been playing the upperhand game for a while now… maybe that is why you have been on and off for so long. At some point, you have to stop making a guy chase you so the real relationship can begin. That means that there has to be equal effort and reciprocation on your part – so no one should have the upperhand anymore. It might be that your relationship has never blossomed into what it could be because just as it begins to, someone freaks out, pulls away or ends it in an effort to keep the pursuit alive. Instead of being afraid of the post-infatuation stage, where no one is chasing anyone anymore, embrace it! If this is the right guy (and a good guy) letting your guard down and really loving him is going to be well received. When you give to your partner and put him first, he will do the same for you. On the other hand, if he’s a bit of jerk, and you believe he is playing with your heart in attempt to boost his own ego, don’t ignore that instinct. There certainly are men that enjoy playing hook, line, and sinker with a girl, and only respond emotionally when she makes herself scarce. Only you know what kind of guy you are dealing with, but if you’ve been dating since high school, why not finally give this the real shot it deserves?
Hope this helps,
I’m a big fan of your book. I finally understand what I’ve been doing wrong with men. I fully intend to practice what you preach, but here is the issue: I’m currently involved with someone right now and I’ve already made all the mistakes you talk about. I didn’t fill my funnel, and told him after only two weeks that I wasn’t dating anyone else. I also may have slept with him…oops. Now I feel like he has the total upper hand and I don’t know what to do. I want him to commit, but I also want to feel like we are on equal ground. How do I accomplish this? Is it too late to follow your strategies? Do I have to start all over with a different guy, or can we turn this around?
Thanks for all your advice!
Your question is probably the most popular one I get from readers. It’s difficult to stay the course when emotions are high and the guy is cute. Everyone falters from time to time. One minute you are strong and level headed, the next you are making out in a restaurant bathroom with your Match date. We all have what I call those “Oops moments”. The good news is, that you can recover from your mistakes. It really just depends on how big they are.
In your case, the mistakes are rather consequential. You didn’t just embarrass yourself by drinking too much (usually an easy recovery if played right), you’ve committed a mortal dating sin. Not only did you tell this guy how much you like him, you confirmed it by doing the deed before having “the talk.” He knows he’s got you now. He doesn’t have to win you over to get you to like him, or to sleep with him. To him, you are just a text message away.
Jill, you have put yourself in the most vulnerable of positions. You have two choices. Choice A: You just keep doing what you doing. You answer when he calls, see him when he asks, and hook up when he pleases. Eventually you will become a girlfriend of convenience, and you will be doing a whole lot of waiting and wondering while he hardly gives you a second thought. Or, Choice B: You make changes right now. First change, immediately stop having sex with him. Tell him that you made a mistake because you felt like you knew him, but now realize that you were a bit too hasty. Then, and this is really important, you have to regain your independence, realize you don’t care if this relationship works out, and decide to take some time to self-reflect. And if you can’t do that, fake it. Don’t answer his texts right away, tell him you need a little time to think and that you will give him a call next week. You need to put some distance between yourself and the situation at hand. This is one instance where “talking it over” is not going to go over as well as, “letting it air out.”
This guy thinks he has you at his disposal. And in many ways, he’s right. But it is time to change this ship’s course. I know this is easier said then done, but if you don’t, you will automatically revert to Choice A, and we know where that will lead you.
Once the week is over, you want to act as if you are back to the beginning. Continue reading