Sometimes we’re too hard on ourselves. We put our own feelings, wants, and needs aside, and act selflessly, to the point where we’re too giving, and many times, we do this too early when dating someone. We need to give ourselves a break once in awhile, act a little selfish, and think about our own feelings more than others. Sounds selfish? Yep, well, sometimes, you should be.
Let me give you an example. This woman was asking a question as to what happened to the man she was dating. She couldn’t figure out why he became so distant when he was giving her so much attention early on. It sounded to me as if she was clearly ghosted, and I truly felt for her. What she said had resonated, and I figured that most likely, her experience would resonate with others as well, and we could all learn from it. Especially, with a little sound advice.
She said that the man who she was dating was crazy into her at first, and gave her so much attention for the first few dates. He texted all of the time, and asked her out again while on each date, or just after, and would text her right away to say that he missed her and couldn’t wait to see her again. She said that she was falling hard for him, and that her feelings seemed mutual. And although they were a bit intimate with one another somewhat soon, she asked him afterwards something in regards to where they stood, their relationship status, and whatnot.
He said that he was recently separated, still getting over his ex, and it was a bit soon, but that they’d get there soon enough, and he claimed to be very interested in her. The next day, and many days after, she started texting and messaging him, and he started to become slow to reply, which she took as a surprise. She couldn’t understand or figure out why he was suddenly acting so distant and cold. He then told her that his father had cancer and that it was really bad.
The next day, she asked him how his father was doing. She would text him here and there, and day after day, becoming the sole initiator of conversation. He went from being the initiator of most of their communication, to barely replying, to not replying at all, and he wasn’t even opening up her texts or even messages anymore on social media. Yet she was noticing that he would respond to others on social media, as if nothing was wrong, and all was well in his life. So as the days went by, she started texting him even more, feeling concerned, missing him, and curious as to what happened. However, she didn’t text anything over the top or too deep, and she was doing so, out of concern and with love. Having said that, she could clearly see that something had changed.
Now, when we hear the word cancer, most of us, especially those who are compassionate, empathetic, and who have kind and understanding hearts would feel for them, and for what they’re going through. And they might even start to feel bad or guilty for craving their attention. However, in this scenario, the woman was desiring the attention from someone who was suddenly acting distant, cold, and withdrawn. She told me that she felt as if she were a fool, and that she was feeling as if she’d totally messed things up, acted needy, and felt as if she reached out to him more than she should have.
That said, she ended up not texting or initiating anymore, and even unfriended him on social media, after he ignored her for awhile, never responded, and when it was at the point where she started to feel neglected. Afterwards, she felt as though she was a bit harsh, and acted as a fool for not letting him explain why he suddenly became so distant. She realized that she didn’t hear him out or give him the benefit of the doubt. Her final question to me was whether or not her situation was salvageable, whether they still had a chance, and if he had simply lost interest.
The woman had reached out to many others asking for advice as well. But I can honestly say, that the advice that she was given seemed a bit empty, and it simply wasn’t good enough. It sounded as if people were telling her not to worry, that maybe he’d come around, that she should’ve been more understanding, and that if he was interested, the ball was in his court.
Sorry, not sorry, but that advice isn’t cutting it for me. She needs to know why this is not the man for her, and what she did wrong, so that she won’t repeat the same mistakes twice. She thinks that she wasn’t understanding—wrong. She think that she should still be open to being with him—wrong. And she thinks that she was a fool for texting so much and acting needy—definitely wrong.
First of all, when you’re with the right person, things should naturally flow, you should feel happy, and you get enough love, attention, and affection. You shouldn’t have to bottle up your feelings to appease the situation or sweep your real feelings under the rug, because someone else avoids connecting on an emotional level. Don’t become emotionally unavailable just because they’re unable to emotionally connect, and don’t change yourself to please someone else.
You’re not needy because you like stability with the person you’re dating. And when someone starts out strong, things should get better, not worse. Otherwise, their feelings weren’t genuine or real. Their feelings were likely based on passion, lust, or the desire for immediate pleasure. And you’re definitely not needy for texting a little more than you should. Who made that a rule. There are no rules! These are things that can be discussed if someone is too busy or if they’re not a big texter. The right person will love that you’re genuine, authentic, keeping it real, giving them attention, and that you’re not playing games. The right person will see that you’re all love.
She was making excuses for him. And she was doing so, even before she had found out about his father. And her final question as to whether or not it’s salvageable, well frankly, no, I don’t believe so. She can’t expect to fix a situation where his intentions were different than hers. He shouldn’t have dated her to begin with when he knew his situation, knew that he was still getting over his ex, and knew that he wanted nothing more than some company and a casual fling with no emotions involved. He clearly wasn’t desiring to explore anything serious, an exclusive commitment, or even someone to be a shoulder to cry to. He didn’t desire emotional closeness or anything that would have substance.
He was clear about his intentions—that is, once she’d asked him. But making your intentions clear is something that’s the responsibility of both people. She should’ve been direct and upfront about her intentions, but so should he have been. She didn’t have “the talk” before she became emotionally attached, close, or intimate with him. But instead, she wanted to have “the talk” afterwards. She didn’t even know what his intentions were. And assuming that he was being honest about his father—because a person would have to be just a bad person for lying about something so serious like cancer—he wasn’t in a place to start dating someone. But not only that, he wasn’t emotionally available he definitely wasn’t emotionally ready to date, because he was just getting over his ex.
But regardless, she was kind, understanding, and nurturing once he told her what was going on in his life. But that was simply not enough. You see, he was emotionally unavailable. He didn’t want a partner, a best friend, and a lover or even someone to confide in, share things, or to be monogamous with. He started becoming distant after she brought up “relationship status” and had the talk with him about being exclusive. It was only then, that he suddenly became busy and unavailable.
And being that she cyber stalked him or let’s assume, was “just checking out” his Facebook or social media, noticing that he was responding to others, but not to her, you’d think that there would be no reason to state the obvious. But sometimes, we need to say it as it really is—he played her for a fool. He was selfish, thinking of his own needs, satisfying his desire for quick, instant, and immediate gratification, just having fun while things were easy, putting her wants and needs last, and not giving a damn about her feelings. Simply said, he used her, and then ghosted her when she wanted more.
But you see, she blamed herself. She had pure intentions of wanting certain things, but she put herself last. She was too giving, and she wasn’t clear about her intentions before she got close to him. It’s imperative to be direct about your intentions, and to have “the conversation” about what you want, what you need, and what you desire in a relationship, or whether or not you even want one for that matter. These are things that should be talked about early on.
Be clear, honest, and direct. Ask big and important questions early on, like, “How long has it been since your last relationship?” and “Is your heart open?” and “Are you looking for a relationship?” And sure, someone can lie and tell you what you want to hear, but then again, you would have at least been upfront and clear about your intentions, despite that you can’t change others. And believe it or not, some people will be honest and direct with you right back, and tell you blatantly, that they just got out of a relationship or that they aren’t looking for anything too serious.
Last but not least, the man shouldn’t have led her on. And yes, he clearly led her on in two ways. You see, other than the fact that he wasn’t clear about his intentions and where he was emotionally or that he’d be unavailable and not present, he did two other things wrong. He strung her along, telling her, that “eventually they will get there” meaning in a relationship. And the other thing, was that he left her hanging. Leaving someone hanging, not knowing what happened, and totally disappearing or ghosting the other, is a way of leading them on, and it’s especially wrong after becoming intimate, close, and after having more than a couple of dates.
If someone is emotionally unavailable, you shouldn’t want to be with them. Don’t waste your time by sticking around, hoping that “one day” or even “very soon” that they’ll suddenly become emotionally available. I call bullshit! No one should be so selfless to the the point where they don’t care about their own needs in matters as such. Love yourself enough to end the situation, close the door, and walk away. Be with someone who will love you, who will be clear about their intentions early on, and who won’t be cold or distant after you’ve become close or intimate. And honestly, I’d have to say that being intimate before being exclusive is one’s own personal choice, but I’d highly recommend holding off on intimacy, at least until you’ve had “the conversation” and you’re exclusive.
Latest posts by Anne Cohen (see all)
- 27 Ways to Know You’re With the Right Person - April 21, 2018
- Dating Advice – Why Mind Games Are a Waste of Time - April 13, 2018
- Dating Advice – Why It’s Important to Follow Through With Your Intentions - April 7, 2018