Thursday, December 2, 2010

Do I scare guys away?

Don't make yourself look like you're obsessed!
Question:  I have the tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve.  I fall for someone hard and fast, which ultimately leads me to get hurt that much more.  For the past year, I haven't been able to settle into a serious relationship because the guys I talk to end up running away.  Before I thought it was just them, but now I'm scared that it's something I'm doing.  I call them - they don't answer, I text - they don't answer.  What am I doing wrong?  (San Jose, CA)

Social Shrink:  In general, we think it's great that you are upfront and confident enough to let people know how you feel.  It's something we wish everybody would be able to do since communication is key in making relationships work.

It does seem, however, that when you approach relationships so intensely, you're overwhelming many of the guys you are talking to way too early on.  Relationships need to develop and gradually blossom into something great.  When you accelerate the process and become too much, that is where it will seem like you're moving way too fast and scare people away. 

For starters, cool it with multiple phone calls and texts.  If a guy does not respond to you right away, hold off on sending follow-up calls or texts to see if you get a response.  The worst thing is to pick up your phone and see 8 missed phone calls and 10 texts messages asking where you are.  They could legitimately be busy or forget their phone, so it will freak them out when they see all of their missed messages.

Second, while it complicates things for sure, relationships are like a game.  Both girls and guys enjoy the chase, the flirting, and dropping hints to one another that they like each other.  If you skip that whole "dance" and say right out "I like you, let's go out now," you will look like a psychopath.  When another person in a relationship since "obsessive" or "overbearing," that is a red flag.

I'm sure you are not the extremes that we are describing, but in general, subtlety counts in a relationship.  While it's also best to avoid the other extreme of playing hard to get and mysterious, it's important to find a balance.  Let the guy try to earn your attention and don't be so up in his face.  You deserve to be wine and dined as a prize to be won.  And that's what you need to exude yourself as - a prize, not a free-for-all for the taking.

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