How women approach relationships versus how men approach them, and how to successfully transition from a casual sexual relationship, into a committed, exclusive, monogamous relationship, without getting rejected or friend-zoned.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a female viewer who shares how she started dating and hooking up with a male coworker of hers. In the beginning, he wanted a relationship, but she wanted to wait and take things slowly. Now, after two months of hanging out, having fun and hooking up, she wants to be exclusive, but now he says he needs time and wants to see how things go. He is perplexed by the fact that initially she just wanted to keep things casual, but now she wants a relationship. She says they both are gun-shy about getting into a relationship because of previous bad relationships and breakups.
He has had previous girlfriends cheat and take advantage of him. She wonders what she can do to get him to commit, or if she should simply move on. This email from a woman perfectly illustrates how women fall in love slowly over time, and why it’s always best to let women bring up the topic of being exclusive and committed, like my book teaches. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of her email.
I would first like to say that I appreciate all of the helpful advice you provide for people dealing with relationship issues; it’s nice to know that with effort and the proper tools, I can achieve happiness in my personal life. (I’m a life coach, and this is one big area people struggle with. Life is relationships. It’s about negotiating successfully on your behalf to get what you want in all of your interactions with other human beings.)
So to the point, I have recently been dating a coworker for almost two months. Our initial arrangement was for us to be fuck buddies. This was a decision I made, because my coworker made it clear that his pursuit of a relationship with me was on the agenda. (Obviously he has not read my book. Bonding and connecting is feminine energy, and when a guy is focused on that in the beginning, and the woman isn’t emotionally ready, she will end up pushing him away, because she is overwhelmed. When guys try to lock a woman down into a commitment, it scares women and turns them off.) In the beginning, I did not want to date this person, as I didn’t really know them and have never been one to jump into a relationship with a stranger. (That is the typical woman’s mindset and how they approach dating. They want to see how things go.) My intent was to take things slow and get to know each other, before we made the decision to become exclusive. (The guy really has no choice in the matter. Until the woman is ready, it’s just not going to happen.) One night we hung out, and he made it clear that since I was not interested in starting a relationship that he would instead choose to sleep with other women. (That changed the dynamic and is the reason she continued to date and hook up with him.) I panicked and told him that I would become his fuck buddy — something I know paints me in an unappealing light. After our first date, which led to sex, we decided to become unofficially exclusive sexually. We hung out a few more times, and I began to spend the night at what he called “our house.” Slowly as we grew to know more about each other, I started to fall. (With women, the feelings have to develop slowly.) I told him how I was feeling, and that I understood that it was sudden and not what I had originally intended. He was loving and accepting of my feelings and seemed to return them. We’ve taken trips out of town and have even met each others families. I’ve met his friends, and by the one-month mark, things seemed to head in a relationship direction. (As I discuss in my book, when a woman falls in love with a man, she wants his attention all the time. As the feelings develop, she wants to deepen the bond and connection.)We both have had past relationships, which left us scarred emotionally and physically, and when either of us would mention a feeling that reminded us of our past, we would talk about it and say that we were “healing each other.” (It sounds like there’s a lot of healthy communication here, which is really important.) Things began to head south when I casually began to mention actually becoming boyfriend and girlfriend, as he felt that we needed to take things slow and to not complicate our jobs by allowing others to know about us. Red flags became raised when I would ask him repeatedly to inform other women that he was unavailable, and he would tell me that telling the world would give them an excuse to ruin what we have. (With the relationship you have, it’s better to keep it between the two of you in these early stages.) In my mind, when I love a person, only that person’s opinion matters to me about our relationship, so my confusion over his seemingly wanting to hide us only causes arguments. (Men who understand women don’t argue with them. Relationships should be a drama-free zone. What’s behind anger? Fear. Now that you care about this guy, there’s potential for you to get hurt emotionally.) I understand that in the beginning, I told him I was not looking for a relationship, as I was feeling overwhelmed by his advances and the amount of females already in his inner circle. I cannot help that I would rather get to know a person slowly than rush into a relationship. (That’s natural and pretty much how most women are.) I feel that when I gave in and had sex, I offered the impression that sex was all I wanted. It was not. I was not being honest with myself or him. (You did tell him that you wanted to take things slow, but by saying you wanted to be fuck buddies, you set the tone that it was just a sexual relationship.)
Now that we have been dating for almost two months, I feel like I am ready for that next step, but he is holding back on committing. His answers are usually along the lines of, “you didn’t want a relationship in the beginning, so I have to allow myself time to accept how far we’ve gotten with each other,” or “I don’t want to rush something that may not work out in the long run.” When I’ve told him how I feel, he tells me that he cannot believe it, because he views himself as unworthy — (That’s a red flag. It doesn’t sound like he has a healthy self esteem), something that is both painful to hear and unsettling. (You definitely want somebody who is an equal, not a wounded little bird. You might want to look into codependency and see what’s going on there. Look back and diagnose in your own history, and see if you grew up in a family where people were making excuses for others.) To me he is worthy, he’s kind and gentle and hard working, and when I’m with him, I feel alive. When I mention that I don’t feel my feelings are reciprocated, he tells me that he’s used to women “loving” him and walking away or cheating, (This is where you can see this guy has issues to work on. He’s made bad relationship choices in the past by dating women who cheated on him. He’s not a great candidate to date), and that him not telling me how he feels does not indicate that he doesn’t feel the same way. His actions have allowed me to know that he has strong feelings of love, but for whatever reason is unable to open up to me. Again, I feel this could be due to how our relationship began, or his insecurities from the past holding him back. (Now, because you care about this guy, you feel you can fix him.) When I mention this, he tells me, “if only we had met years ago,” or “if only you had told me you wanted to take things slow.” I did not; as I felt he was coming on too strong. (He over-pursued in the beginning, which turned you off.)
I am at an impasse. I love him and desperately want to be with this man, but I also want him to be happy with me, and to not feel pressured to do anything his heart isn’t ready for. (If I were you I would keep your options open, date other guys and let him know he’s not ready for a relationship and has some stuff he needs to work on before you can date him.) I do not know where to go from here. Should I let go and allow him to find what it is his heart wants, or should I continue to be whatever it is he feels we are, and hope for the best. (You’re open to learning and growing, and he sounds like he has a way to go. You can’t fall in love with somebody’s potential. He’s not really great boyfriend material. You should continue to hook up and keep your options open.) And to clarify, we discuss our future together as far as business partners and life partners without hesitation, and our chemistry is amazing in and out of the bedroom.
I’d really love your take on this issue and cannot wait for my book to get delivered, so I can gain some relationship knowledge and pass it along to him. (If he’s close minded to reading the book and getting better, I would cut him loose.)
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Women do not approach dating and relationships the same way men do. Most men have been incorrectly taught to make a mad dash to the relationship finish line by proving themselves and getting women to commit as quickly as possible. The reality is, women fall in love slowly over time. If a man is too focused on locking her down to a commitment, she will feel overwhelmed, pressured and most often reject, friend-zone or ghost him. A man’s job is to create an opportunity for sex to happen by planning definite dates, having fun and leading the interaction by focusing on getting to know her as a human being. A man should pursue in the beginning by setting one date per week. As a woman’s interest, attraction and connection grows, she will start to reach out to bond and connect more and more, as she feels safe and comfortable with him. This usually happens after 2 or 3 weeks. Then, the man can simply wait to hear from her and make the next date when she reaches out; this way it becomes her idea. Most women typically will be in love by the 7th week and bring up the exclusivity talk when men allow women to come to them at their own pace, instead of incorrectly trying to force things before women are emotionally ready.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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