Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q & A: "How do I stop from acting all available and needy?"

Name: Nana
City: Atlanta
Question: I am a 25 female and live in Atlanta. About 9 months ago I went through a bad breakup with my ex boyfriend of 3 years. It hurt me deeply. I met a guy soon afterwards and it just could not work out. He appeared clingy at first, then it was I who became eventually (I guess it had the symptoms of a rebound relationship) I was hurt again and so I became hard on myself and refused to date guys. I had lots of guys call to ask me for dates (Yes, I did give my number out) only to decline to go on the date or refuse to return calls. It gave me a good feeling to know that all these guys wanted me and I didn't. My best friend was very worried when she noticed how I had changed. I always had this speech about there is nothing like love, love is only a need" Blah blah.

Two weeks ago, my best friend and I went to the park. On our way back to the car, We passed two guys who were going the opposite direction. I noticed one of them and thought he was handsome. But when we passed them, I just went on my merry way. A few minutes later, these two guys turn around and quickly walked toward us. They ask if they could speak to us. This is how I met Frederick. He is 37. We talked for about 30mins, if not more and it was wonderful. He asked me when my last relationship ended and what star I was and how his star and mine were very compatible. We connected so well. In short by the time we were done talking. I was hooked. After all I had done to protect myself, I could not help falling for this guy. He taught yoga in Saturdays and invited me to come. We exchanged numbers, he gave me a friendly hug and parted. Now I was so excited and confused. I did not know this guy so why was I so smitten. Anyway, I wanted him to call (He said he would) but I could not wait, so on Monday, I called him to talk about nothing. He was nice. Later my friend talked to him during that week and told him that I liked him and he said he wanted me to be coming to his yoga classes so that we could get to know each other. I thought about him all week. One Saturday, I went to his house for the yoga. We had expected a few more people but they could not make it. So we were together alone. It was a fun class, we talked a lot and he was very affectionate especially when he was trying to show me a posture. He asked me why I was scared about relationships (got that from earlier conversations) and told me just because I had a bad experience with my ex did not mean all guys were bad. He talked about the fact that he was looking for someone to settle down with (general conversation). After the class he led me to my car and gave me a hug. One Sunday, my friend called him from my house (she had missed her session with him and called to explain) and he wanted to know if I was home. I took that to mean he wanted to speak to me. Anyway, so then again, I called him on Monday, Just to say hi. I know I shouldn't have. When he answered the phone I noticed he was hesitant for a second (imagination) and then he picked up. I was disappointed that he wasn't as excited to talk to me like he was on Saturday. We spoke for a few minutes because he said his cell phone was about to cut off. The last thing he said before I hung up was so see you on Saturday?" And I said yes. I am confused because this is different from what I am used to. Most guys see me, get my number and call me all the time (and when they call, they want to rush everything) . Also most of my relationships begin fast (yes, and end sadly too) Now, All the fears of rejection that I felt when my ex broke up with me is coming back. Is Frederick dumping me, Has he lost interest? Why hasn't he asked me on an official date yet (maybe because I am going to see him every Saturday for yoga) . I care about him more than I have for anyone. I do not want to go too fast. I will wait the world for him. I do not want sex so I know I am not in lust. I cannot fight the fears of rejection though, I am scared he will stop liking me. What do I do? How do I stop from acting all available and needy? I will be seeing him on Saturday. Please help thanks

Hi Nana,

Thanks for writing...I have one word for you - WHOA! Slow down, girl! You feel more for this guy than anyone else before? More than your recent 3-year ex when you were together? Chill out for a second...For once, try being confident within yourself...You did for a little bit and started to feel good about yourself because you realized that you are attractive and can control aspects of relationships and can commit to them by choice...That's wonderful. So where did this needy, clingy Nana come from? Is it because he's 12 years older and an instructor that you see him as some kind of father/mentor figure? Someone you believe who is to be respected? No matter what the angle, you can never lose interest or respect in yourself. He very well may be interested in you, but for right now, he seems more interested in just having you in his class. He might be taking things very slowly because he hasn't figured you out yet and may not be looking for a hot romance right out of the gate. You'd wait the world for him? I think you'd better check yourself and get some self-respect. You're way out of control on this and will not win him in any way because you're coming on WAY too strong...Be confident in yourself and take each day as it comes...If he wants to be with you, that's fine...And if he doesn't, then that's fine too...Don't forget - One person's rejection is another person's salvation. If he doesn't want to be with you, then obviously he is blind to what you have to offer, and you never want to end up with someone that you have to constantly prove yourself to anyway...So it's good not to get involved in the first place. But C'mon - Have some self-respect! If you don't, no one else will...Stop worrying so much about what this new person thinks and spend time working about what you think of yourself. If you do this, every day will get better and better and you'll end up much happier...You will eventually even find yourself being much happier in relationships that you have an equal say in and choose to be involved in...That makes all the difference in the world. But more importantly, you'll have much more control over your own life...Hope this helps, and thanks for visiting the site...Take care.

Name: Emily
City: Boston
Question: I have been dating a wonderful man for a little over a year now. Our relationship has been perfect, and we have discussed marriage on many occasions. My problem has only surfaced recently.
A few years ago, a good friend who I had strong feelings for and I had a "fling" for about a month, and then we mutually brought it to a stop and it was all but forgotten. I never stopped loving this man, but I pushed him out of my mind, because I never thought I would see him again. A few days ago, we ran into each other at a gathering, and we've emailed to say hi and to say that all bad feelings are forgotten. He lives only a few miles from me, and has a steady job in the area. Now all my old feelings have come back in full force. I cannot get him off my mind, and it is now at the point where I have considered breaking up with my boyfriend to try again with my friend. If I did this it would crush my boyfriend, but at the same time, I can't continue to be with him and sleep with him, while all my thoughts and feelings are with my friend. Please help me! I need some sort of outside feedback in order to sort this thing out.

Hi Emily,

Thanks for writing...With the recent past events and tragedy that occurred on the East Coast, it has really given most people a reason to pause and reflect on many things that normally they might not have thought much about. It was one of those events that really made everyone take a deeper look and realize that they are happy to be where they are at, to be satisfied with what they have, to feel lucky that they haven't suffered as others have, and to share connectivity with those who have lost and have gone through the ordeal.

The reason I'm overstating the obvious here is that it brings to light your issue to some aspect. You are involved in a relationship with a wonderful man. Your relationship with him has been perfect. You are discussing declaring in front of friends, family, and God that this is the person you wish to spend the rest of your life. There are wonderful, serious, life-decision things...I'm happy you have found someone who fits so well into your life...

Now let's look at your "fling"...You broke up because of an obvious issue/problems that you two could not sort out - To the point that this "friend" dropped out of your life completely (That either tells me that your friendship was not really all that strong, or that the issue that broke you up was very serious)..And now you've run into him and are willing to risk and jeopardize everything you've built with a man that you are thinking of spending your life with. Let's take a hard look at the facts:

1) You are very happy with your current beau and are thinking of growing old with him
2) You lasted but a single month with your "friend."
3) You state you never stopped loving him, but if you ended your relationship with him and pushed him out of your mind for years, I'm thinking you never really were in Love with him to begin with - more like infatuated.
4) You mention he has a stable job, which denotes to me that he work ethic and sticktuitiveness is already in definite question and that he's had issues about committing to a job (or you) in the past.

What if it were reversed? What if the man you are totally happy with came up to you tonight and said, "Emily, I'm sorry but I have to end my relationship with you. I am completely happy with you and think that you are perfect, but I ran into my ex and want to give her another try...What ex? Oh, she was a girl that I dated for about a month a few years back that I had a real big falling out with...That was years before I met you, but now that she seems to have gotten on her feet, I feel I have to give her a second chance even though you are someone I could live the rest of my life with...Sorry." You'd feel like he was just dating you until something that he thought was better came along. You'd feel that somewhere you must be lacking, that all this time you were giving him your heart, he was just biding time...Kinda unfair and shallow, huh?

Here's the thing: You can't ever go back to things exactly the way they were. He's changed, you've changed, you have that rift between you, etc....The infatuation and intensity you remember will never be recaptured because (hopefully) you've both matured some and have grown wiser, and you've also had many life experiences since then. You really have to look at what before you, not what you've left behind.

Wake Up, Emily! If you are going to promise the current guy your future, then you turn around and are willing to throw it all away for a guy that hurt you years ago, what does that say about Your commitment...Your love...? Not much...If you are even remotely serious about your current boyfriend, then do what you've done for years and forget about the loser-guy. If you are still considering being with someone who you already have a rocky past with, then have a little decency and break it off with your current guy - He deserves better and your heart/head has never been seriously in it anyway. You've already lasted over a year with this guy, yet only a month with the other - you do the math. Sorry to sound harsh, but it seems to me you need a definite reality check...Be grateful that you've found someone you think so highly of and are so happy with...You think it's been perfect with him, so how can you expect anything to be better with someone else who's already proven that relationships with him are FAR from perfect (or long-lasting)...They say the grass is greener on the other side, but you've already played on that field and you know it's very uneven, full of rodent holes, bare dirt patches and stray dog feces all over it...If it didn't, you'd still be there. You seem to be bright - Really think about it and truly cherish the guy you're with...Because just think - If you break up with him and go for the loser, then in a month you'll be wishing everything was reversed again and it'll be too late - You just sacrificed your life's future to spend another short-lived month with a dead-end. Hope this helps, and best of luck to you...

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