~ archived since 2018 ~

Advice Roundup 2

Andrew
June 17, 2014
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Here is another round of questions and answers that have come through my inbox recently:

1 ----------------

Andrew,

I have a question for you. I read your blog, really value your opinion, and would so much appreciate your input.

Do men ever feel a sense of obligation to keep in touch with a girl? I have been seeing my older brothers best friend (age 28, i am 24) for a few months, and get the feeling he may now just be keeping in touch out of politeness, to avoid a situation with my brother - do guys do this?

Is it ever right to wait for a guy you really like, if he is moving slower than you want to? I feel as if the waiting for a relationship to form drives women absolutely crazy - is it right for the beginnings of relationships to feel like this?

Thank you in advance, very much.
Sandra

Sandra,

Probably he isn't doing it out of politeness. He probably likes you, and enjoys being in touch with you because he likes flirting with the idea of something happening between you, but he is probably too worried about the fact that he's friends with your brother to actually make a move. Or maybe he just wants to talk casually to decide if his attraction to you is enough to risk his friendship with your brother.

There is no reason (other than the strain on your patience...) why you can't continue talking to him, and seeing where things go. If this goes on for several months and you are talking regularly - say, a few times a week - but he isn't doing anything, you might bring it up by telling him that, while you are interested in dating, you understand the situation is complicated by your brother, but you also don't want to keep talking endlessly if he is never going to decide it's worth a shot. Of course, this is just a soft way of telling him to grow some balls and make a decision, and it's likely to bring the whole thing to an end, but if that is what happens, you'd be fooling yourself in believing that the "whole thing" would ever have worked out anyway.

Good luck,
Andrew

2 ----------------

Hi Andrew, your blog is awesome!

My question is, would a man ever want a non-sexual friendship with a woman just to get emotional support? I had a sexual relationship with this guy for six months last year. We met through a community project. We ended it mutually... We wanted to try to keep our friendship intact because we will continue to have community interaction, and we care about each other.

We have both tried hard to keep the friendship. He is a natural alpha guy, man of few words, but has always made the effort to text me and call and we've stayed in pretty close contact like this for months. He has taken some big personal hits over the last couple years and I give him a lot of support and praise (not that he'd ever ask) which I think he likes and maybe even needs. The problem? I feel like he avoids seeing me in public. We have mutual friends and opportunities to be out together and socialize, and he doesn't pursue it. It feels weird to me to have just a phone relationship. It's always drummed in girls' heads that guys never want to be friends with women. Is it possible this is just an ego feed for him and he doesn't actually want to be friends? Despite all the texts and calls it's hard not to take it personally that he never wants to get together face to face in a platonic setting... which is what I do with all my other friends.

Thanks for your help!
Majda

Majda,

His willingness to stay in touch is definitely motivated in part by the fact that he enjoys the personal chemistry between you and the conversations, etc. - but for sure there is an element of ego there too. He likes knowing you like him. Incidentally, this means that he must have some level of sexual attraction to you also (otherwise his ego wouldn't value your attraction to him); but his unwillingness to take it any further is a much stronger indication that the level of attraction isn't high enough to get back together. I'd tell him you are interested in getting back together, but you realize that he isn't on the same page, and that because you see things differently, you think it's better not to talk. Then cut him off.

Good luck,
Andrew

3 ----------------

Hi Andrew,

I have a very quick wit and use natural puns, double meanings, subtle references in conversation--people laugh a lot around me. I've cut my playful, though sarcastic, banter but kept wondering this: Do masculine guys like girls with great situational humor or not? Do I "lose points?" I am otherwise extremely feminine. Still stepping on Mr. Alpha's toes?

Thanks!
Rebecca

Rebecca,

I realize I am reading between the lines a lot here, but I have a hunch that your sense of humor is a way you've subconsciously attempted to make yourself stand out to men, i.e. to make them notice you. And if I am right about that, it isn't your success (or even failure) at being funny that is turning men off, it's the fact that men can recognize your discomfort with who you are shining through your attempts at being funny. I think you've made the right move by scaling back your wit a little bit, since I suspect you were using humor as a crutch for garnering male attention. As you probably have realized, good and bad attention are sometimes difficult to distinguish, and the desire to be recognized can very easily blur the lines between the two. I suggest recognizing that (a) you don't need to be the most beautiful girl in the world to find a man that you love and who loves you back, (b) being comfortable with who you are is way more attractive than humor - in fact it rivals physical beauty for the most attractive female quality, and (c) just because there are other girls who are prettier doesn't mean that you can't be noticed for your looks too.

Good Luck,
Andrew

4 ----------------

Hi Andrew,

In your blog, you say that a woman should never tell a man when she will sleep with him. However, you also advise women who want a high-quality boyfriend not sleep with a man until he has demonstrated commitment. In most cases, demonstrating commitment = agreeing to date exclusively.

These two bits of advice seem to contradict each other. For example, let's say you like a guy, you've been dating for a while, and you haven't had sex yet. You want to let him know that you are willing to have sex eventually (so that he doesn't give up in despair), but only after you're exclusive. But if you say "I want to be exclusive before sex," you're essentially saying, "I'll have sex with you when we're exclusive." So by communicating that exclusivity is necessary before sex, you're breaking the rule about never telling a man when you'll sleep with him.

What's the best way to manage this situation?

Thanks!!
Ana

Ana,

You are right in the sense that saying "I want to be exclusive before sex" implies that you'll sleep with him once he commits. But I don't recommend phrasing it that way, mainly because I don't recommend thinking about it that way.

The implication of such a statement is not only that you'll sleep with him once he commits, but that you have essentially already decided that you want commitment from him. But if you are in doubt about his willingness to commit - to the point that you are turning him down for sex - then you shouldn't be sure yet about what you want from him. This isn't because you should play hard to get; it is because, if you are self-confident and have a non-needy approach to dating, you shouldn't want commitment from anyone who doesn't like you enough to commit to you. Everything else about a guy might be great, but unless he desires you enough to be exclusive (and demonstrates that by pushing for exclusivity), one of the most important pieces of the puzzle is completely missing.

Instead, I suggest saying "I am not ready for that yet," or better yet, "I only sleep with my boyfriends." This frames the whole interaction in a healthier mindset, because there is no implication that you'll say "yes" if he asks you be to exclusive with him. There is therefore also no implication that you will sleep with him, let alone when.

Hope that helps,
Andrew

5 ----------------

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the great blog!

I am 32, female and single. I have an illness which does not have any effect on my daily life, but I don't have enough eggs and no periods without pills. Despite this I have 5-10 % to fall pregnant spontaneously, but doctors can't improve this percentage. I do want kids but I am also happy to adopt. My question is, when and how should I tell a guy? I am worried to death that a guy will be disgusted by my infertility.

Thanks a lot!
Anika

Anika,

You shouldn't tell a guy about your low fertility until you are sure that marriage is something he is considering. On the surface, that might seem like a long time to wait; but the flip side of that advice is that (assuming that marriage is what you want from dating) you shouldn't continue dating a guy more than 6 months without knowing that marriage is something he is at least starting to think about. If at 6 months you know that the guy isn't even asking himself whether or not you could be his wife someday, then he isn't on the same page as you, and you shouldn't continue dating him. If you are uncertain about whether or not he is considering it, then you should bring up the subject yourself sometime before 6 months. This isn't "pressuring" a guy; it's making sure that you are only dating men who have the same goals as you, and are on the same timeline. Yes that means that you won't be able to date a lot of men, but that's just part of the dating landscape for women interested in marriage.

So the short answer to your question is 6 months at the latest, and as soon as you know he is taking you seriously at the earliest. I am saying this not because I think you have some kind of moral obligation to tell him, but because you don't want to spend too much time with a guy for whom your fertility will be a deal-breaker. But of course, you also don't want a guy to write you off before they have a chance to really appreciate you.

Good luck,
Andrew

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If you want to ask me for advice, please follow the guidelines here: How to Ask Me for Advice And if you liked this post, let me know in the comments; I have about 200 more e-mails I need to answer, so I should have plenty of material for additional posts like this.

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