I just started dating a man and he told me that my being too nice puts pressure on him and makes him act distant toward me. I don’t understand. Does he think I’m putting on an act? ~Teri
Teri’s Notes: History with the new guy: Sex within the first few dates; a few days later, he brings up commitment and says it was a big step. Teri, surprised, agrees and tells him they should “go slow.” He disappears and she is left baffled. She wonders if he felt obligated after having sex. She says she never got the chance to tell him that was not her expectation. One of his parting shots was that her being nice to him made him feel pressured and want to distance himself.
You definitely fell right into the temptation of getting sexual too soon. I also hear denial of your true desires – that’s it’s okay for him to not feel obligated after having sex with you.
Why wouldn’t you want him to feel obligated (committed) after having sex? Self-respect as a woman demands it. If you didn’t want it, then his little disappearing act would mean nothing to you. The first thing you must do, therefore, is get it straight that you do want a committed relationship, especially from a man you are sleeping with.
This leads us to the next step – putting off sex until you have a real relationship with a commitment. Here’s what happens to most guys when they have sex too soon – he wakes up the next day with a real problem. How is he supposed to feel about you and treat you? He barely knows you, is not in love, and doesn’t think of you as his girlfriend. Yet he doesn’t want to treat you like an object of his sexual lust and nothing more – that makes him a bad guy. He’s torn – wanting to do the right thing yet not feeling it in his heart. Most guys just back away at this point, leaving you hurt and frustrated.
For most women, it’s an entirely different process. For us, having sex creates more intimacy. We wake up the next day wanting the relationship to move forward. If we’re brutally honest, we have to admit that we wake up the next day halfway in love and thinking of him as a boyfriend. This is nothing to be embarrassed about – it is perfectly natural and normal for a woman to feel this way! In fact, it is how we are wired. Therefore, it turns out that having sex too soon is destructive to a new relationship because of the likelihood that he will run away and she will be hurt.
On the subject of being too nice: it’s not possible in the context of a committed, loving relationship (two-way street!) to be too nice. It is possible to be too nice to someone who is still in the evaluation mode – not sure if/how much he likes you; not really falling in love yet. It is possible to be too nice to someone who takes you for granted, is not committed to you, dislikes women, or is abusive. That makes you a door mat.
If you want to change this dynamic, Teri, it’s time to re-set some of your dating patterns. I wrote Temptations of the Single Girl, to give women a template for building healthy relationships that lead to commitment and marriage. There are specific things you must do in order to attract a great guy, put off sex, and not put him off. Find out more about it today, or if you’re ready to get started, order it today. Write back after you read it and tell me how you will put the coaching in action in your life.
About the Singlescoach®: Nina Atwood, M.Ed., LPC, is a licensed therapist with twenty years in private practice. Nina launched the world’s first educational resource on the internet for singles, Singlescoach®, in 1996, simultaneous with the publication of her first book, Be Your Own Dating Service. Since then, she’s established herself as one of the foremost authorities on the intricacies of dating and love relationships. She’s been featured in innumerable national magazines and newspapers, on radio hundreds of times, and on national and regional television. Nina’s newest book, Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid (Wheatmark, 2008), was just released to rave reviews. Nina lives in Dallas, Texas, with her Soul Partner and husband, Mark.
“Ask The Singlescoach®” Copyright © 2007 by Nina Atwood, all rights reserved. This article was excerpted with permission from Nina Atwood. Permission to reprint is granted by the author provided all links are included. All reprints must state, “Copyright © 2007 by Nina Atwood, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission by Nina Atwood.