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#66481 - 10/26/06 08:29 AM Dating and Being Connected
Born to Resist Offline

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA
I'm 34 years old and never been married. In the past I have been behaviorally distant when getting to know someone because of difficulty trusting someone and being emotionally connected with them. This manifests itself in regards to how often I call someone in between dates and how many dates/how long I date must date them before asking them to be my girlfriend. But, I have stepped out of my comfort zone to change things behaviorally to get closer to the dating norm. Okay I want to ask if the following behavior is within the norm and if not what seems to be the norm? Okay here is where it gets anal retentive:

For the first 4 dates I call the woman I'm dating every 3 days never less.

Then I switch to calling her every 2 days until date 8. Then call her everyday.

Date 10 I ask her to be my girlfriend (given we've dated at least 2 months.


#66482 - 10/26/06 06:36 PM Re: Dating and Being Connected
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Born to Resist,

This approach to dating presumes that there's a "norm" based on some fixed chronology, and my own feeling is that there are big problems with this assumption.

If you look at your schedule perhaps you can see what I mean. Your timeline is based on the number of dates, not on how you feel about the person.

It may be difficult at first, but I think a better way forward would be to try to get in touch with your feelings and ask yourself what this girl means to you on any given day. If there's to be a real relationship - and isn't that what you want? - it has to be grounded on a firm foundation of commitment and trust, and the time that takes just can't be predicted. It ought to vary from one person to the next and depend on what he's doing and how fulfilling the dates are. Sometimes two people will just "click" very quickly, sometimes it takes longer, and sometimes it just doesn't happen at all.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#66483 - 10/27/06 02:22 AM Re: Dating and Being Connected
Born to Resist Offline

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA

I agree, that I need to stay in touch with my feelings about the person. And that ultimately my feelings towards them determine if I will get into a relationship with them. Sorry, I should have been more clear with this. That being said there is an average (perhaps a better word) of time between calls and number of dates to boyfriend/girlfriend. Perhaps people are not concious of it but everyone has an average for this ... meaning if they average their interaction over several dates everyone has their own numbers for this. I am very aware that my average in the past has not been received well and that this is because of my emotional distancing. I'm very aware of it being 34 and only have had one girlfriend since high school and that only lasted 10 months. Thus, I've been trying to change my behavior to be closer to the average and let someone into my life sooner rather than losing them because I'm not meeting up to their expectations of what average is. Anyhow, I hope this better explains what I mean.


#66484 - 10/27/06 03:27 AM Re: Dating and Being Connected
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

When I first read your "timeline" I actually chuckled a little bit thinking, wow, does anyone really think that through so carefully? But then I took a step back and thought more about where it was coming from. Now, reading your answer to Larry it's even clearer. If you don't know how to proceed because you never learned, then of course you're going to do it by the numbers rather than just wing it. So that said, I get it.

BUT, you are now a grown up man, not a teenage boy so even though you are trying to figure it out, any woman you strike up a potential dating relationship with doesn't know that and will wonder why you're so strict about following the rules you've created for yourself and for her, even though she doesn't know yet that she has rules to follow.

I can only imagine how hard this must be and believe me, I'm not critisizing or making fun. If you haven't learned it then you can't possibly execute it, so here's a little advice from me.

If you have a date with a woman and have a nice time on Friday night, it's perfectly OK to call her on Saturday and say so. If nothing else, you can say, you know, I had a nice time, how about I call you on Monday night and we make a plan for ______. If that goes over well, then you definately call on Monday, make your plan and be sure to call her the day before your second date and confirm, making sure to tell her that you're looking forward to seeing her again.

Be yourself and try to go with whatever comes your way. If you like her, then show it. Don't gush like a potential stalker, but don't hold yourself to such strict rules that you create tension in a relationship that isn't even a relationship yet.

If you are still dating the same woman after 2 months, it's my guess that some comfort level has been reached in the relationship by both of you. You don't have to ask her to be your girlfriend, but you'll maybe want to have a discussion about exclusivity. You'll probably already know, but if you don't, it's perfectly OK to ask if she is or if she's interested in dating other people. Her answer to the question will determine whether you want to pursue an exclusive relationship or not.

BTR, do you have a woman friend or sister you can bounce things off of? Much as I hate to admit it, we just love to get involved in this stuff. I, of course, will help in any way I can and I'm sure there are other men and women on the board who will dive right into this.

ROCK ON........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#66485 - 10/27/06 06:19 AM Re: Dating and Being Connected
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Born to Resist,

When you say that your emotional distance has caused problems in the past, do you mean that your lack of communication with women has cost you relationships or made them upset?

I understand your point about everyone having numbers even if they are not aware of it. But I think what Larry is saying is that those averages are different for different relationships and that most people correlate the frequency with which you contact them to your emotions about them. Meaning, if you call a woman 5 times a week, she will expect that you were thinking of her and wanted to talk to her 5 times. It would probably hurt her feelings if you only really wanted to talk to her twice but called the other 3 times just to make sure she was keeping you in the picture.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with asking, especially in the beginning-- I think most women would find it considerate and not a sign of inexperience at all, if you just said something like, "Is it okay if I call you tomorrow (or this weekend)" or, if you're going to have a stressful or busy few days, to just say "I may not be able to talk again until next week"-- just make sure you follow through on whatever you're saying.


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