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A Tale of Four Dates... Does This Have a Future?

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Hi everyone.


This is a story of four dates I've had with this girl I really, really like. I think I could love her, and it appeared that she was as willing as I to see that happen in the beginning. But now, I'm not sure.


It seemed like a match made in heaven, when first I answered her online ad. We spoke on the phone the next day, and on through that night, and the next day and next night ! She's 42, I'm 34, but we were acting like a couple of lovestruck teenagers, text-messaging each other incessantly with terms of endearment that it'd ordinarily nauseate me to see other people use.


She seemed just the right kind of person. Funny, cute, independent, professionally successful. With many of the same interests and a self-confessed "reverse prejudice" for Asian Indian men (my ethnic group). And most of all, really very warm and giving and loving... exactly the way I am. When I fall for someone, I give completely and entirely of myself... my time, my attention, my affection, my emotional support... and she really seemed to be that way too, those first couple of days.


The third day we met, and it was wonderful. We gazed in each others' eyes the whole time, made out like crazy, and I went home with her. It did feel like love at first sight, and we both said so.


The next morning there was a certain shadow. She wasn't thrilled about the sex. We talked about it though... we're both great communicators. I gave her an "out"... that's the way I am. I said I wouldn't hold her to any of the things she'd said to me the previous night about emotional attachment and commitment, if she wanted to write off the liaison and move on. She said she still wanted to try and make a relationship work with me, that everything else about me was perfect except for the sex thing.


She also said, though, that I needed to step back and let her miss me, let her come to me. I understood and honestly tried for the rest of the week... I let her text-message me first before making contact with her on any given day, called her only twice over the next four days.


We met again that weekend...four days later... and the sex was much better. I stayed Saturday night at her place and went home the next morning, and was glad for having done so. We both seemed happy.


We continued in that vein, speaking on the phone more or less every day for a few minutes, texting each other now and then. We cared about each other and weren't afraid to show it. It wasn't like the first couple of days after I met her online, but I fully accepted that the cooling-off had been beneficial for the relationship. If we were ever going to make a long-term thing work, we couldn't keep acting as if it were a high-school romance.


I took her to dinner on Wednesday, three days after our second meeting. We went to her place again. It all seemed fine. She did say at one point that it seemed like I "adored" her, and that it "frightened her to be adored like that". That was when I just looked at her with my emotions writ large on my face and stroked her hair gently. But that was the only negative spot. We enjoyed each other's company, and the sex was pretty good too.




The following Saturday... which was last Saturday, the 2nd of September... was our last meeting to date. It was really odd.


We met, went to the mall where I asked her to help me with some shopping... she was thrilled. I had a little gift for her, just as I had on every date before. We went through the stores like a happily married couple. A perfect evening except for, once again, a single moment when I was apparently "looking at her too adoringly" and she asked me not to "push her away by adoring her that much".


You see what's really weird about this? SHE looked at ME like that the first evening we met. From every indication she gave me during our first few days of phone calls and emails, she seemed every inch the type of person who would love, appreciate and reciprocate that sort of doting adoration from a partner... she seemed as if she'd be that kind of partner herself. On our first date, she WAS...exactly that. And here she was, saying not to look at her like that because it might push her away!


But still... the rest of the evening was fine. Until we got back to her place. We tried to watch a movie together while she checked some work email... somewhere along that point, she got really tired and we decided to go to bed.


We were in bed, spooning, the way she's always said she likes it. I asked her if she was, on the whole, a happy person... and she said no. She muttered something about how I couldn't push my way into her heart... how I couldn't force the situation to be something it wasn't. I got a little impatient then, and I asked what the situation really WAS. What WERE we to each other? She'd already been referring to me as "her boyfriend" on phone calls to her family and colleagues. Were we in a relationship, or not?


She got a little hostile then, and said it was entirely unfair of me to lay such a heavy conversation on her when she was that tired. I backed off... and backed off emotionally too. For the first time in our relationship, all we did together in bed was sleep.


The next morning as I was leaving... I said goodbye and told her I loved her (something we'd started to do over the previous week). She didn't say she loved me too... just gave me a tired smile.


I went on home wondering if it was over.


We haven't spoken on the phone since then. She sent me a text message the next day, generally asking how I was doing. We've exchanged a couple of text messages every day since then. I only tried to call her once, on Tuesday, and left her a voice mail. I know she might have deliberately not taken the call, but I also know it's been a hellishly busy week for her, with her traveling out of town on business, and I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on that.


But I'm also very, very sure that she's holding back. Compared to where we started, there's no doubt about that. She'd always have found time to call me before, no matter how busy she was.


I think she might be doing the right thing, and I've been holding back too... though probably I've not been doing as good a job as she.


So here I am. I'm certainly in love with her, but I know that love works exactly in that way... you feel it as long as it is reciprocated partially but NOT completely, and as long you retain the hope that it will be reciprocated completely at some point in the future. If I'm to win her back, I have to do my damndest to feign a veneer of indifference that I don't really feel at all.


My last text message to her this afternoon was asking if we might talk this evening... in response to a message from her that said "we have to catch up". She then replied that tonight was not good, and we should talk on the weekend. I resolve not to call OR text her again until she actually picks up the phone and calls me, whenever that may be.


I'd love to hear what you think about all of this. Is it worth pursuing? Should I just put it out of my mind? If it isn't worth pursuing, should I take the initiative to break up with her so that I can start over and forget the whole thing? At an emotional level I certainly don't want to do that... I feel love, I still have hope and I want to give it a chance. But I'm also aware enough of myself to know that what's good to you ain't always necessarily good for you.


If any of the ladies on this forum could bring their obvious emotional wisdom to bear on this situation... and help me understand what's going on in her head, through your insights... I'd really, really appreciate it.



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hi and welcome to enotalone.


Hm. it seems that your intensity has scared her off some. I know that your intentions are good, you clearly really like her, but you don't love her. you barely know her! love takes time. This is infatuation.


I would say that there is no need to get her gifts everytime you see her. if anything, that will push her farther away. Too much too soon. It is far sweeter when a man gives a small gift here and there every few months as a surprise than to give a gift each time you see her. Then it just becomes expected and boring.


I agree, back off, act indifferent. maybe if she sees you backing off, (ie, you stop calling and texting her), it will give her some space to miss her. when you said you initially tried to give her space, you "only" called her 2 times in 4 days. i still say that was way too much. better to have just waited until she called you.


I know that I have asked for space from a man before, and that he kept calling and e-mailing (even if it was a little more infrequent), it still annoyed me. It's like I was telling him what I wanted, and he didn't care, he just wanted to do whatever it was he wanted.


So... I think you should just back off totally, don't call her or write, let her get in contact with you. This may make her miss you and she'll contact you. If she doesn't, oh well, at least you didn't lose much time with this woman.


good luck

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I think you're coming on way too strong and being selfish. Selfish because instead of considering what she needs - she keeps telling you to give her space and you only partially oblige - you are considering only your need to be next to her, with her, reassured by her that she still wants to be with you. Lovesick is not the same as love - you are into doing all these couple things and things that look like love because it gives you pleasure without regard to whether that works for her. That's not love. That's selfish. Just because you're angry with someone doesn't mean you hit someone and just because you think you feel "love" doesn't mean you send numerous text messages, give gifts, pressure the other person for a commitment when she is showing and telling you she is not on the same wavelength!


Whether this is out of selfishness or insecurity - need for approval - this is not about the caring and giving to her - caring and giving means listening to her and what she needs. Back off for now and next time, recognize that infatuation makes you self-absorbed -that's natural - and resist the urge to react to every romantic dream you have about someone you barely know. And I would hold off on sex for at least a few months and see each other once or twice a week for the first few months without talking every day since you seem to want to go at the speed of light - doesn't work for most people.

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Hello Annie and Batya,


I do appreciate your thoughts on this and you're absolutely right. In practical terms, I'd figured out the need to back off and remain incommunicado until she tried to reach me... but it really does help my resolve to hear that idea confirmed by you both. So thank you.


In my defense (or just as a bloviating rant), I'd like to say that the way I've been with her isn't typical of my behavior in relationships at all. In most of them I'm very casual, sometimes too casual and so shy of revealing my interest that the whole thing will cough quietly and die in a splutter of self-defeating egotism before it's had a chance to reveal its nature.


With this girl, the only reason I let myself fall so hard and behave like a clinging idiot was that I thought she *wanted* it that way. She came on as strongly to ME in the beginning, encouraged me to reciprocate it, then all of a sudden got uncomfortable... I can't help but feel like she pulled a bait-and-switch once my emotional investment was made.


Maybe my behavior also has to do with the fact that my last serious relationship, which lasted six mostly-happy years, was with a woman who honestly wanted that kind of constant attention and reassurance and was happy to reciprocate it. I thought this girl was like that too... and though I was wrong, I think she was emotionally dishonest enough to mislead me on that and I can't figure out why.


Ok, venting concluded! Here's something I'd like to share with the community, for anybody who could use a little trick to help them back off from overgiving, or even to get over a breakup.


It's probably a version of something seen many times in advice columns before, but here goes. Whenever I find myself thinking that I really want to call this girl or text message her or feel close to her in some way-- I grab the tip of my earlobe between thumb and index finger, and dig my nails in hard, just for a second. It's a negative reinforcement technique that makes me associate self-destructive impulses with a short burst of unpleasant sensation.


I've found after a couple of days of this, that I've not only succeeded in keeping out of contact with her... but that obsessive thoughts of her stop themselves almost as soon as they come into my head, as a result of the negative association! It has really helped me maintain my resolve.


Of course, if you try this and find that you're hurting yourself to the point where you're drawing blood or leaving visible marks, I would strongly recommend that you discontinue it. It's only meant to be a small unpleasant sensation... not pain with which to punish yourself.

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Maybe my behavior also has to do with the fact that my last serious relationship, which lasted six mostly-happy years, was with a woman who honestly wanted that kind of constant attention and reassurance and was happy to reciprocate it. I thought this girl was like that too... and though I was wrong, I think she was emotionally dishonest enough to mislead me on that and I can't figure out why.


well... it is one thing to act this way with a woman you have been with for 6 years, and another thing to act this way with a woman you have been on only a few dates with.


let's look at it from the other perspective. Say that you wife or long-term girlfriend did wonderful things for you. she would pack your lunch for work and slip in a love note by your sandwhich. she would greet you at your door when you came home from work. she would be wearing a french maid outfit, she would rub your shoulders and your feet, and serve you an elegant home-cooked dinner in the spotless home. she'd get you beer while you watched TV and then she would have wild sex with you at night. This sounds like a perfect wife, right?


Well, what if a girl started acting like this towards you after 2 dates? she would show up to your work with a sandwhich and offer to come by and clean your apartment and do your laundry. You'd be like, "WHOA! Lady, you are acting like we are married, and we have only been on 2 dates!"


Such intensity in the beginning of a relationship can be frightening for both sexes, even though it comes with good intentions.


i have also been guilty of coming on too strong in the beginning and am working on toning down. what I am trying to say is, the same behavior that is very warm and comforting in an established relationship can be a turnoff if it is in the beginning of a relationship.

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you mentioned something about her being disappointed after the 1st time u had sex...does this have anything to do with that?



I think it doesn't help if you hop into bed too soon. You need to know each other as people, otherwise you focus on how good/bad/average the sex is. It also takes a dozen or so times to hook up properly with a new partner in bed.


If you come on too intense, too soon, it sends out the signal that you will do anything to be with anybody and not that that person is special.


Having said that, I think she shares some responsibility for being too intense too soon as well.

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Maasikus I've thought a lot about that, but I don't really think so. The first time was almost set up for an anticlimax considering the intensity of our initial connection, the passion of our making out... when the moment of truth came, I developed, shall we say, stagefright. Being treated like a superstar is a kind of pressure I'm not used to.


The second and third night were great though, we both enjoyed it... at least, I was pretty sure she was genuinely enjoying it at the time, but of course, given all that's happened who knows? She did misrepresent herself in at least one way that completely befuddled me... by coming on with great intensity and then being scared off when I reciprocated the intensity.


Annie and Momene: you're both right on the money.


In the interest of full disclosure, and since people actually seem to be reading my sorry little tale ,let me tell all.


The six-year relationship I was in... my only serious one ever... ended this past February. As I said before, it was with a woman who was all about being affectionate, demonstrative, emotionally available, reassuring, comforting, and so on. She wanted to be that way in a relationship from very early on, I wanted to be that way for her, and we were both very happy for a long time.


It eventually ended for a number of complicated (and irrelevant) reasons, but the decision to split up was mutual and we remain on good terms to this day... I guess that's as good as breakups ever get.


The first few months after that relationship ended, I didn't really miss much about being in it. I dated, played the field, enjoyed the single life, met some nice people with whom it could never have led to anything serious... but I wasn't upset by that. Being single was just fine.


However, I see now that it's possible I DID miss that intimacy, security and emotional availability at some subconscious level. Because when I met L here, the one whom my "Tale of Four Dates" is about... I responded by giving away the farm from the word go. The only reason I did such a thing was that she honestly seemed to be offering me the same. She was right up front with all of that... talking half-seriously about "our life together" on our second phone conversation, saying she couldn't believe the universe had thrown us together, offering to marry me for (don't laugh) a green card if I wanted it!


All these things should have thrown up some sort of red flag in my head. However, everything else about her seemed so perfect... her intelligence, her erudition, her personality (very non-psycho), her control over her life, her looks. Coupled with the fact that I was in a vulnerable spot emotionally, something I didn't even recognize, this led me to make a truly bad decision. I unthinkingly returned all of the rhetoric, the hyperbole, and the romanticism she thrust at me.... but along with that, I also invested heavily of my feelings, which was apparently something she had never been ready to do.


Don't get me wrong, I do feel bloody stupid. She, however, was a little bit crazy. As far as the sex... VERY wise words about that, Momene... it was her idea on the first date, and communicated so aggressively that I couldn't have found a way out without seeming to reject her. I really wish we hadn't done it... and I'm a GUY! By the grace of all that is holy, I did retain enough sense to insist that we use protection... which she didn't want to, being so "in love" with me!


And then, while I let loose my emotions and gathered momentum like a runaway train... she neatly did a 180 and began moving equally fast in the opposite direction. As we came through the middle of last week, she was in an accelerating retreat while I was leaning hard on the brakes of a disheartened and decelerating pursuit. Pretty pathetic huh?


I hope someone reading this forum thread gleans something useful from this sordid story of mine. That there are people out there who don't know what they want in a relationship, but are willing to trample all over the emotions of others while they scour the earth in search of it. That it isn't fair, is in fact cruel, to invest somebody else in a relationship by convincing them it will lead in a direction that you're not entirely sure you want to go yourself.


That too many of us-- even grown adults-- still subconsciously entertain those saccharine romantic notions of "true love", "love at first sight", "accidentally meeting your soulmate" and all the other drivel with which popular culture has saturated us, to ever be completely safe from this kind of situation. And that when you begin your relationship on an excessively high romantic note, you're setting it up to fail, because there's nowhere to go from there but down.


Well.... At this point I've pretty much given up on hearing from her again. She said we'd catch up over the weekend in her last text message to me, but I haven't heard from her yet. So there's nothing for it but to wait till the cynicism drip-dries away-- it eventually will, I'm not the cynical type-- and try again, a wiser man. Taking it very slowly next time.


Of course if I DO hear from her again, I will be icy cool and monosyllabic until she comes crawling back to me... at which point I will rip her heart to shreds



No, I couldn't do that. And hey, jokes apart... you Enotaloners. Thank you, really really thank you... you have no idea how much it's helped me just that you've bothered to listen to all this. The genuinely profound perspectives you've all offered have been even more wonderful... I don't think I'd have even begun to get over the hurt without them. And I very much appreciate the honesty as well-- there was a whole lot I did wrong here, whatever my excuse or lack of one.


I'll do all I can to be there at the right time, with the right words, to help someone else on this site when they need it.

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Ok, I suppose in the interest of completion I should just write the last chapter here! She emailed me today and dumped me... "I love you but I'm not in love with you", LOL. Guess she wasn't as smart, creative or inventive as she (or I) thought... or she'd have come up with something more original! It was really rather cowardly to do it by email too... she knows I wouldn't hurt a fly, no matter how devastated I was.


Speaking of devastated... again, this has been a LOT less painful for me than it could have been, thanks to all you folks on Enotalone. Thanks again, and I will do all I can to be there when any of you need me.


P.S. wanna hear something funny? L, the girl this thread is about, is actually going to be moving away to South Carolina! She let me know that in her dumping email. Right now we both live in New York City.


Why is that funny? Because the woman my last serious relationship was with...moved to Portland, Oregon!


Boy, when I push 'em away, I really PUSH 'em.

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  • 2 months later...

Grokker: You are correct. It is very similar. Mine started all the talk about us and babies (she wanted) and marraige (she wanted) and us being exclusive and us felling natural and, and, and,...


Also, I think even though I was scared, I did reciprocate. I find it difficult to not reciprocate, when she is beautiful, kind, sexy and giving you all the attention you could ever want.




So, if I am correct in what DiggityDogg was telling me and maybe I am not, she found that I was clingy and then she decided there was something that turned her off.


My only thought would be, if that is the case and I am not to be "clingy", then stop being "clingy" yourself, or testing me or whatever the hell it is.


Just run from me and I will run from you and then we can always just pretend like we are a challenge for each other. If you don't want to catch me, don't try.

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