13. Ask the Date Doctor

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Posted by Denver Date Doctor | Posted in | Posted on 3:09 PM

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Dating Symptoms

Dear Date Doctor,

I am a 23 year old disaster dater from the Detroit area.  I say disaster because I am unsuccessful at maintaining relationships.  I met a 28 year old in November and befriended via facebook.  He had sent me messages and I responded in due time, I was busy with finals for school.  He invited me to a party after Christmas and we finally got a chance to hang out.  After, we texted for 2 days before going on a dinner date.  It was a fantastic date complete with dinner, drinks, another party, and meeting several of his friends before heading back to watch a movie at his place.  I spent the night there, but did not sleep with him.  The next day we went to a New Years Eve party together, introduced each other to friends, it was great.  We really seemed to of hit it off.  Throughout the next couple weeks, we talked every day and spend a lot of time together and with friends.  He even introduced me to his mom. 

I have not had sex with him and actually one night it was leading to that and I stopped him to say that I prefer not to do that so soon.  He was very understanding and backed off immediately.  I told him I liked him a lot and valued our growing relationship.  He agreed and we continued spending a lot of time together.  I noticed that the affection was starting to decrease but thought maybe he was just giving me some space since our conversation.  He was still very attentive and his friends and I got along great, so well in fact even some of the wives and other friends girlfriends called me and wanted to make plans!  I would ask him first though, as I was not sure how to handle this early in the relationship.  We had been dating a month and everything seemed to be going great.  I thought these were all good signs. 

We had gone skiing one Saturday and had a fun time.  He called me after and confirmed the fun, as usual.  The next day, however, he told me he decided he just wanted to be friends.  He claimed he did not feel the chemistry and I did nothing wrong, it was him.  He still really thought I was great and wanted to maintain contact because "you never know what could happen in the future."  At first, as has always been my policy, I politely declined.  I was in shock!  I did not see this coming at all.  Everyone, including myself, thought we were a great match.  I held my ground and was not rude but said "no I do not stay friends with ex's, thanks for the fun skiing lesson, good luck."  I left and he watched me all the way out, as I drove away in the cold weather.  After, one of his friends wives called me to tell me she had just called him to invite us over for dinner soon and he told her what he did.  She told him he was "stupid" for doing that and couldn't believe it.  He tried texting me cute messages about having a good day later in the week as we usually did, and I couldn't believe it.  I told him it was unnecessary now, given what he told me a few days prior.

 A week later, with no contact in between, I decided I wanted to still talk to him.  I am a self-respecting confident woman, am I crazy?!  He seemed glad I did so and we decided to try and be friends.  Now, I have no idea what this entails as I do not do this, this is my first time trying to be friends with someone I really liked.  I told him that I would try but if I didn't like it, I'm outta this asap. 

My question to you, doctor, is do you think I'm making a wise decision?  This guy has mostly everything I want in a mate...of course I would want more of an attraction but otherwise I thought he could have been the one.  Do you think it is worth sticking around or should I eliminate him from my life?  I am torn because I don't want to allow myself to be an option to him but at the same time I don't want to miss out on this opportunity of reuniting.  I have a lot going on in my own life, graduating from college in May and starting a new job.  Should I hold out or bolt?

- "Stuck in the friends zone" in Detroit

Date Diagnosis

"Disaster Dater"??  Don't be so hard on yourself...  While it isn't often that I meet a woman who is stuck in the "friends zone", you can take solace in the fact that EVERY MAN knows the pain of the unrequited affection associated with it.  First and foremost, anytime a man says, "It's not you, it's me" you should understand that he is lying!  Very simply put, you were in the romantic zone in the beginning and now you aren't.  You did something, in his mind, that warranted the downgrade and if you want to get out of the perimeter of his thoughts and into his heart you have to first figure out what you did and then undo the damage.  Sound like a difficult task??  It is, but lucky for you, I'm here to help!
  1. You are a self-proclaimed "disaster dater".  To me, those are buzz words that lead me to believe that you have some sort of undesirable track record with men...  If this sort of situation has happened before, it is usually because of some insecurity or flaw.  To determine those flaws on your own will take some deep introspection on your part, but it is very doable.
  2. Because we haven't had a one-on-one consulting session, it's difficult for me to pinpoint the exact flaw or insecurity you may be displaying, but it is very important to point out a huge mistake you made with this guy.  You told him that you "like him a lot and value your growing relationship..."  WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!  From a man's perspective you were moving way too fast and you most likely scared him.  During the early parts of dating, the romance very well may be shaping up to become a relationship, but men don't want to call it a relationship, or even talk about it.  The word itself makes men feel trapped.  Instead, focus on keeping things fun and cool.  You can have your boundaries, but you never need to explain yourself.  If he asks why you don't want to have sex, just say, "I'm not ready".  Reserve the "I'm saving myself for marriage and, if we ever do have sex, I'll be expecting a wedding ring at some future date" diatribe for NEVER.
  3. Now that we've covered the past, let's look forward to future...  Should you hold out or bolt??  This is a difficult question to answer, but it sounds like you really like him and want to give it a shot.  With that being said, the following are things to be concerned about:
    1. Your feelings could really get hurt here if you aren't careful.  Understand that as his "buddy" he is 100% within his rights to date other people and you may happen to see or hear about his escapades.  Be ready for the possible emotional swings.
    2. Be aware of the elephant in the room.  He very well could have been a wolf in sheep's clothing and really just wanted a quick score with you.  When you didn't give up "the goods" and he realized that it was going to take more time and commitment to get in there he could have decided that you were better off being his friend.  
  4. Those are the possible drawbacks, but what we really want to focus on is, how we're gonna rescue you from "friendly territory".  Relationships, among many other things, require physical and mental attraction.  The biggest thing to focus on here is that he WAS attracted to you initially.  That means that structurally you are good to go and have the physical ability to get back on his radar (you are half way there).  However, when someone alludes to the fact that there is no "chemistry" you should immediately start thinking about ways to mentally re-seduce your gentleman suitor.  Because the process for gaining someone's affection is so complex, I will leave you with a couple of solid points that will set you on the right track for success.
    1. Don't get too close to him.  Guard your heart and keep him at an appropriate distance for someone who is just your "buddy"
    2. Use your time in "no man land" wisely by gaining valuable intel.  You will be in the perfect position to know more about your guy.  Find out what makes him happy and what he really likes in women.  Find out what his interests, his future goals and passions are.
    3. Once you have that information, use it to re-invent yourself, from a dating standpoint, to become his perfect woman. 
Those are just a few things to help, but they will definitely get you pointed in the right direction.  The most encouraging aspect of this whole situation is that Mr. Right is standing there in front of you and getting him will just be a matter of turning yourself into the proper fit for him.  It won't be easy, but don't give up.  That's how love stories are written...

- Denver Date Doctor

If you have dating questions write to: denverdatedoctor@gmail.com

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