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  #1  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:04 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Why Do So Many Men Do This? (Relationship-related)

So I've been seeing this guy for a couple of months. I went into the relationship very cautiously, as you're supposed to, setting boundaries early and not acting desperate or needy. I was cool as a cucumber. He pursued me hard, and was constantly saying and doing nice things for me. Basically convincing me that he would be the best boyfriend ever, and was so very good at it that he got me. I fell hard. I am madly in love with him at this point. We see each other 2 to 3 times a week and yes, we are sexually active. And how. We are not kids- I'm 38 and he's 41- in fact we both have kids, but his live far away.

The last couple of weeks there has been a drastic change in his behavior. We still talk every day and see each other just as much, but that extreme-niceness thing is... gone. No more proclamations of devotion, mention of how awesome I am, or assertions of undying devotion. No more tender emails the morning after that bring tears to my eyes in their sweetness. He's not being mean, I'd never put up with that, but it is way different than previously.

I've spoken with him about it- I was fully prepared to be dumped based on this new and strange behavior of his. He assured me that he has no plans to dump me, that he feels the exact same way that he did, and he does say that he loves me. He says that he just feels comfortable with me now. Ooookay, but if you love me and want me to love you back, wouldn't it behoove you to continue to treat me like I quite obviously enjoy? I was that eating that shit up, having been single for several years and being on that early-love high. Now I almost feel as if the roles are reversed, and I am courting him, which is fine if that's your bag, but I'm fairly traditional when it comes to man/woman stuff, and I don't like to feel like I'm "chasing" someone. I also don't much like being so vulnerable, and giving someone the power to break my heart, but such are relationships, I guess.

And it's not just him, lately I have been hearing and reading about this phenomenon quite a bit. Seems that it's very common for a man to pursue a woman, and then when he gets her, to pull back. Why, why, why? If you're a man, have you done this? Why? Or if you're a woman, has this happened to you? I've been trying to pull back a bit myself, and not appear to NEED him, and all that, but I'm a very emotional person and I like to talk about my feelings (a lot), as it helps me to process them. The last couple of days, I feel that he may be starting to come back around emotionally, so maybe it was a short-lived phase.

Any answers/thoughts/opinions?
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:07 PM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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Do what?
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:08 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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You know, that thing where you pursue a woman and then when you've got her, pull back.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:09 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Wait, what's going on?
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:14 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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The feast of the carcass is never as exciting as the thrill of the hunt. (There's got to be a more appropriate metaphor here, but this is the first thing to come to mind.) Women--well, some of them--do the same thing.

Not that I'm any kind of expert on relationships (ballistic missiles: yes; edged weapon combat: maybe; romance: no) but one suggestion I'd offer is not to dump all the emotional process dump with the lad. A certain amount of that is good feedback, but if you expect the guy to become your best friend and confidant, that's a hell of a load to carry and often in contradiction to the role of being a lover.

Then again, I like cold toilet seats, so what do I know. *gong*

Stranger
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:25 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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We women do it too. It sucks I know, but when I start dating someone my house is immaculate, I take time to do my hair, wear make up sometimes (which is a BIG deal to me), etc. Then once they have been around for a while I start letting the place get messy, pulling my hair back, ordering pizza instead of cooking dinner when I get home from work. It is a comfort zone kind of thing and it is really helpful if both people fall into it at the same time but it doesn't always happen that way. Pizza doesn't mean I love him less, it means he has become a part of my everyday life and I can't keep up the charade of being a make up wearing, clean house keeping, never farting, thinking his playing soccer is so entertaining kind of woman forever. If he doesn't love me when my sink is full of dirty dishes he didn't love me when it was empty either.

Besides, after a while the never ending praise and adoration starts to get stalker-creepy.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:25 PM
pseudotriton ruber ruber pseudotriton ruber ruber is offline
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Beyond a point, which comes pretty early, a guy feels that he's gotten his devotion across to you, and no longer needs quite as ardently to keep repeating himself. It seems logical enough to him that "I've told her how I feel about her, she understands how important she is to me, and that's enough already." Nothing has changed, other than he quite reasonably doesn't intend to devote the rest of his natural life to reassuring you that the stuff he told in October is still true in December. It was nice hearing it in October, but it's not October anymore. You're still the same sweet person he said those nice things to, but now he has a life to return to that doesn't require (and probably cant tolerate) the same intensity of emotion that he has showered upon you for months. He's trying to dial it back a notch or two, and if you insist on his maintaining that level of intensity, not only will you not get that level of intensity, my guess is you'll lose him as well.

As you might suppose, I'm a guy who has had women break up with him because I couldn't keep supplying them with the same stuff forever that I was happy to supply for the first few months. What I could supply was different, and maybe better, after that first hihgh wore off, but they wanted me to stay where I was, and that's unreasonable and controlling, and I was usually happy to leave when I realized that they couldn't accept the notion that change is a good thing.
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:29 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
You know, that thing where you pursue a woman and then when you've got her, pull back.
That's simple. We (as a general rule) are not demonstrably emotive by nature. Being demonstrably emotive is difficult - it's not something that comes easy, nor is it something that we (as a general rule) care to perpetuate once the immediate... well... "need" has passed.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:30 PM
Omniscient Omniscient is offline
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Lemme see. You played stupid, silly games at the outset of the relationship and he played along. Now the game is over and you're wondering why he stopped playing?

The question is what's wrong with [i]men[/n]?
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:41 PM
Lilairen Lilairen is offline
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I think a lot of people act differently when securing a relationship than when they're in a relationship. Partly it's because securing the relationship is more of a change than maintaining it, so it gets different energy; part of it is the new love high and when it starts to wear off. My cynical streak figures there's a certain amount of "Okay, now I've got 'em, I don't have to impress anymore" going on in a lot of places.

It can be a shock to the system, especially if one's expectations for what's stable in the relationship get set way wrong in the early bits. Or if one person comes out of the giddy-obsessive-they're-so-COOL stage before the other one does, or very abruptly.

A couple of thoughts: are you familiar with the 'languages of love' concept? I haven't read the book, but there's a couple online quizzes and some essays about it -- talking about the different ways people prefer to express emotions. If you and your partner naturally fall into different natural modes of expressing care for each other, you both may wind up feeling neglected. It's worth discussing what sorts of thing translate to you as a useful display of affection so that you each know how best to express caring for the other.
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:43 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omniscient
Lemme see. You played stupid, silly games at the outset of the relationship and he played along. Now the game is over and you're wondering why he stopped playing?

The question is what's wrong with [i]men[/n]?

Whoa, dude. Might be time to cut back on the coffee. Nobody played any games.
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2006, 09:01 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
Whoa, dude. Might be time to cut back on the coffee. Nobody played any games.
I think the toned down version of that is that courtship is a game in a way in then you move back into "real life" after a while. You aren't the first female that doesn't realize this is just a transient stage and not something that will be maintained for the duration of the relationship. Most guys in a long-term relationship have gotten the "why don't you ___ to me anymore?" questions. In some cases in may be a legitimate inquiry but in many cases it is just delusional female behavior of this minor variety.

Where it really gets you into trouble is when your wife/girlfriend's friend has a new love interest and he is over there making you look like crap temporarily and you have to explain this all over again.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:01 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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He's not pulling back, he's started to act naturally. He wooed you, you played it cool, he wooed you harder, you fell for him. The purpose of the wooing phase, to win you, is accomplished. Now he needs to see if he wants to live with you for the rest of his life. If he didn't want you, just wanted to get into your pants, he would indeed have dumped you after the wooing phase was over.

You can't expect a man to carry on the wooing phase forever, that's a deranged invention of romance novels and you're up for a life of disappointment if that what means love to you.

If you are very very lucky you can both act naturally with each other and feel perfectly comfortable in each other's company just being yourselves. Give it a try, you might like it. A man wants a woman he can go home to and relax with, not one that has to be "won over" again and again. Home to men is a refuge from the stress and striving of the outside world, not a place where he has to frantically come up with new praise and signs of devotion every day. To a man simply being with you and forsaking all others, is in itself a sign of devotion which you should take as more sincere than all the glurgy phone messages in the world.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:04 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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The responses so far are pretty much what I expected. The reasons the change threw me are 1) it was pretty drastic and 2) I could have used a bit more of the courting stage, although I know it has to end sometime and I wouldn't even want that kind of intensity for long. I just thought it would be a little bit longer.

And I do try to keep in mind that I should never expect my man to be my girlfriend who loves to discuss and analyze emotions with me, so I haven't been discussing it with him to a great extent. I just do what women do best- pick apart everything he says, the tone of voice he said it with, what alternate meanings it could have, etc. Having just gotten off the phone with him, I'm happy to report that his emotional warmth really may be on the rebound at least a little, as I'm left with warm and fuzzy feelings.

The advice to talk with him about our respective expectations and needs is good, and I will take it when I'm feeling a bit more secure with him. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:11 PM
Omniscient Omniscient is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
Whoa, dude. Might be time to cut back on the coffee. Nobody played any games.
You can label it however you'd like but your OP pretty clearly indicated that you "played it cool" and made him earn your affection. That's all fine and dandy, but playing hard to get is a game in my book. If that's how you want to handle the courting phase and he doesn't mind, I'm not going to judge, but you seem to be characterizing men as flawed because he stopped courting you, um, after the courting was over. That's the point.

If you're not going to be OK with the sea-change in his interactions with you, you might want to think about playing it straight from the first meeting next time. I'm guessing if you hadn't played hard to get and hadn't made him "earn" your affection you'd have gotten a clearer picture of just how he'd treat you once the pressure was off. And really, that's what matters.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:11 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
I just do what women do best- pick apart everything he says, the tone of voice he said it with, what alternate meanings it could have, etc.
*shudder* Why, Og, do you build them this way? What purpose does it serve? Can't you just make them straightforward? I want my damn rib back!

Stranger
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  #17  
Old 12-12-2006, 09:16 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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I wouldn't say that I played "hard to get", although I can see your point if I had. He was very intense during that period, while I was more reserved, as is my nature. I prefer to hang back some and observe until I am familiar with a person or new situation. It takes me a while to warm up, that's all. It's not part of any agenda or devious plot, it's just me.
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2006, 09:34 PM
jackelope jackelope is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
...and being on that early-love high.
You've nailed it here. He was on that early-love high too; he just came off of it before you did.
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  #19  
Old 12-12-2006, 09:38 PM
Auntbeast Auntbeast is offline
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Here's a question for you. What is his dating history like? Some guys are great at the sell, but horrible at the relationship. I'd guess that he has had a series of short-term relationships.

I dated a guy who I talked to for quite a while before we went on a date. He focused on the first date being the most amazing date EVER. It was a pattern with him. That was his obsession, after the first date, he turned into a complete jerk. Perhaps the thrill of the chase is what he is good at. Many cats like to play with lizards they never intend to eat.

This wasn't a gradual weaning, it sounds like a pretty dramatic shift. That doesn't sound like "normalizing" of a relationship. It sounds like a pattern.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:50 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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I've definitely thought about that, Auntbeast. He has been married and has lived with someone for an extended period, so my answers don't lie there. I don't think that he has dated all that much in between. I suppose only time will tell, though. If that is his thing, I hope that he shows it soon, as someone like that is not someone I'd want to waste much time on. I just hate being "played", and feeling like an idiot. I almost want to say that it's just not worth the risk, but then I think of him and get that funny feeling in my tummy.... sigh.
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  #21  
Old 12-12-2006, 10:01 PM
Charger Charger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
Where it really gets you into trouble is when your wife/girlfriend's friend has a new love interest and he is over there making you look like crap temporarily and you have to explain this all over again.
But if you are the guy who is the new love interest in the scenario above, and you're double-dating with another "settled-down couple," you win.
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:33 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
Seems that it's very common for a man to pursue a woman, and then when he gets her, to pull back. Why, why, why?
Er... you might want to try reading your own post:

Quote:
I went into the relationship very cautiously, as you're supposed to, setting boundaries early and not acting desperate or needy. I was cool as a cucumber.
So let's be perfectly frank; YOU were playing games at the beginning of the relationship, and he reacted by pursuing you, as you'd presumably hoped. Now that YOU aren't playing the same game of I'm-so-hard-to-get, he's not reacting the way he did when you were. I'm not sure why this is surprising.

You later claim you weren't playing hard to get, but that was your very first paragraph. You might want to ask yourself if maybe you weren't playing a bit of a role, too.
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  #23  
Old 12-12-2006, 10:47 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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I honestly don't see how entering into a relationship cautiously is playing games. For one thing, I'm an introvert and naturally cautious and reserved. I was honest with him about my feelings for him from the beginning, it was just that my feelings took a bit longer than his to develop. Also, having children should automatically preclude someone from rushing into an intense relationship without a great deal of information about and observation of the other person.

As I said, I'm a very emotional woman, and when I fall in love, I fall hard and deep. Having had a couple of unhealthy relationships in the past, I've learned that it's best for me to go slowly at first and get to know someone well before I open the door to my heart. I don't see that I played games, or was coy.
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  #24  
Old 12-12-2006, 10:48 PM
Enola Straight Enola Straight is offline
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When you catch the bus, you stop running.
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  #25  
Old 12-12-2006, 10:50 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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Boys are dumb. Throw rocks at them.
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:50 PM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
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Do the terms "Mating Ritual" or "Preening" ring a bell here?

Maybe he was giving you an indication of his "relationship personality" within an "alotted" time span?

I know that sounds kinda "clinical", and I don't mean to sound facetious, but maybe he figured he needed to let you "see" what he's like, and felt a little pressure?

That's my take on it, anyway.

Don't hold it against the poor guy that he doesn't continue in this manner. He probably did the best he could to get you to like him, and now that you do, he wants the relationship to me more natural and spontaneous.

As I said, that's just the way I see it.

Q
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  #27  
Old 12-12-2006, 11:25 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alice_in_wonderland
Boys are dumb. Throw rocks at them.
Well...well...well...girls have cooties! Besides, all they want to do is play house an' read sappy poetry an' stuff. Borrriiing!

Stranger
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  #28  
Old 12-12-2006, 11:46 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudotriton ruber ruber
Beyond a point, which comes pretty early, a guy feels that he's gotten his devotion across to you, and no longer needs quite as ardently to keep repeating himself. It seems logical enough to him that "I've told her how I feel about her, she understands how important she is to me, and that's enough already."<snip>
My husband jokes that he "loves me until further notice" and that oughta cover it.

I think the only error this guy (and others like him) are making is to put too much effort in early on. If you can't sustain it, don't start it. Sure, relationships naturally evolve into something more comfortable and less intense, but if you have taught your woman that you will bring her flowers every single day, it's understandable that she's going to come to expect that.
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  #29  
Old 12-13-2006, 12:51 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Pretty much what others have said - he was probably faking it early in the relationship to get your attention and now he's dropped the act. It's not that his interest wasn't (and isn't) genuine but most men (and I include myself) are not that demonstrative. We only do things like write sonnets and send you valentine's day cards because we know you like it not because it's our natural inclination.

If this is the case, there is some good news. He wouldn't be quitting his early dating mode unless he felt you two had established a high enough level of trust to make it unnecessary - so bizzarely enough, this lack of outer emotion could indicate he's actually inwardly feeling closer to you. And the other benefit is that any signs of emotion or affection you get from this point on will be because he sincerely feels like expressing them - you can just take them as they come and not worry about hidden motives.

Hey, we're men. You knew we were shallow when you started dating us so don't go looking for depths now.
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  #30  
Old 12-13-2006, 01:03 AM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by featherlou
I think the only error this guy (and others like him) are making is to put too much effort in early on. If you can't sustain it, don't start it. Sure, relationships naturally evolve into something more comfortable and less intense, but if you have taught your woman that you will bring her flowers every single day, it's understandable that she's going to come to expect that.
Why is this thread focusing only on men? [with the exception of pbbth]

It happens on both sides.

Are the women who complain that their guy isn't acting the same towards them as when they met, under the impression that they are acting the same towards their guy as when they met?

To paraphrase featherlou, "if you have taught your man that he will get sex every single day, it's understandable that he's going to come to expect that. If you can't sustain it, don't start it."
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  #31  
Old 12-13-2006, 01:19 AM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo
We only do things like write sonnets and send you valentine's day cards because we know you like it not because it's our natural inclination.
...
Hey, we're men. You knew we were shallow when you started dating us so don't go looking for depths now.
I don't buy this meme that men are shallow, and women are not.

In fact, I would say that wanting someone to write sonnets about you, send you Valentine's cards, and have candle-lit dinners with rose petals strewn across the table, shows a certain naivete and, to a degree, shallowness.

A mature person doesn't need a Hallmark card on one day of the year to feel loved by their significant other. Your SO should make you feel loved every day of the year.

Sorry for going off-topic from the OP, but this 'men are shallow/women are sophisticated' crap is a pet peeve of mine.
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  #32  
Old 12-13-2006, 01:38 AM
Telperien Telperien is offline
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I would be more than a little creeped out if someone I just started dating was professing undying devotion to me. Call me overly suspicious, I guess. (Not that you should be, Alice the Goon. I'm just kind of prickly about that particular thing myself.)

Also, how is the OP's being cautious "playing games," while her suitor's "wooing" isn't? Either both of them were playing games, or neither of them were.

To me, it doesn't make sense to behave one way to catch someone and then abruptly change once you have them, but I'm perpetually single, so maybe I'm the one who's wrong.
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  #33  
Old 12-13-2006, 02:59 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
I just do what women do best- pick apart everything he says, the tone of voice he said it with, what alternate meanings it could have, etc.
I suddenly feel the need to go to the bathroom and verify that I'm still female. Or biologically female, apparently I got the wrong last pair of chromosomes or something. I've never been able to do that, never given a shit about doing that and I hate it when my mother and my SiL do that!

I swear, even playing Minesweeper feels more productive than that freaking overanalysis of everybody's tiniest expression...
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  #34  
Old 12-13-2006, 03:14 AM
Dunderman Dunderman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telperien
Also, how is the OP's being cautious "playing games," while her suitor's "wooing" isn't? Either both of them were playing games, or neither of them were.
As far as I can tell, no-one has said that only Alice was playing games. Both were.
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  #35  
Old 12-13-2006, 03:18 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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You know, there's courtship which can be fun, but is ultimately kind of artificial and then there is intimacy which means you both can kind of just relax and enjoy being with each other as you are. Hopefully one leads to the other.

On the subject of analyzing every comment, phrasing, etc., with your friends just stop. It will just lead to more miscommunication. Talk to him if you feel it is warranted, take his answers at face value unless you have good reason not to and just be in the moment.

Threads like these make me happy I don't date anymore.
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  #36  
Old 12-13-2006, 03:22 AM
DMark DMark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
I wouldn't say that I played "hard to get", although I can see your point if I had. He was very intense during that period, while I was more reserved, as is my nature. I prefer to hang back some and observe until I am familiar with a person or new situation. It takes me a while to warm up, that's all. It's not part of any agenda or devious plot, it's just me.
You got used to being the center of attention, 24/7, and being wooed non-stop.
Not that I can blame you for enjoying it - human nature and all - but at some point, you have to cut the guy some slack.
Did you/do you expect this guy to write gushy emails every day for the rest of his life, bring you flowers every time he comes to visit, say "I love you" on the hour, every hour? That might work in romance novels, but in real life, after a certain point people show their love and affection in more subtle ways.
I am really not trying to be mean or snarky, but you sound a little needy and I don't envy any guy trying to live up to what I perceive to be your idealized fantasy of eternal courtship.
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  #37  
Old 12-13-2006, 04:34 AM
Racer1 Racer1 is offline
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Of course, the guy could simply be a bit stressed/busy/tired at work or home too. That could explain the abrupt stop in sappiness, without losing interest.

What people are saying is right though, the honeymoon stage will develop into a more comfortable stage and that’s a good thing. Doesn’t mean he won’t still surprise you with flowers, or weekends away and all from time to time. Kind of dilute the importance of it if he did it every night though, right? Plus it is stressful for a guy to keep having to think up ways to out-do himself and impress you. Much better that you can be comfortable and enjoy each other’s company, with the sappy displays staggered over a hopefully great long-term relationship.

Just think, when you’re firmly in the comfort stage you’ll be able to whine about your womanish problems at him without fear of him running. You know, like what useless clutter that has absolutely no potential other than being melted down into parts for my car to next buy from Ikea.
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  #38  
Old 12-13-2006, 05:33 AM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Everyone puts on their finest clothes while courting, not just physically, but emotionally, as well. It sounds like he has moved to next, more comfortable level, while you want to stay in that storybook phase where you are the princess and he is the knight in shining armor. No one actually lives there. If you can't move on to the same, more realistic phase, you could lose what you have.

Drama is great on stage, not so much in real life.
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  #39  
Old 12-13-2006, 05:42 AM
glee glee is offline
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Just some thoughts, starting with these two fine posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbbth
If he doesn't love me when my sink is full of dirty dishes he didn't love me when it was empty either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by askance
Home to men is a refuge from the stress and striving of the outside world, not a place where he has to frantically come up with new praise and signs of devotion every day. To a man simply being with you and forsaking all others, is in itself a sign of devotion which you should take as more sincere than all the glurgy phone messages in the world.
My parents were happily married for 61 years. My Dad was faithful, worked hard to support us, never gambled or drank and spent quality time with all of us. However I never heard him tell my wonderful Mum he loved her. She accepted his behaviour said it.
I'm a man. The first time I told my parents how much I loved them as an adult I was over 40.

My sister and I both have best friends of over 30 years.
She phones hers almost every day and they chat for ages. They know pretty much everything about each other.
I phone mine only when I have something to tell or arrange. I don't know which political party he supports or which newspaper he reads. I only found out he was gay 10 years ago. But we can pick up the conversation instantly.

There's blokes for you.
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  #40  
Old 12-13-2006, 05:45 AM
Ale Ale is offline
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Funny thing, I´ve had the opposite thing happen; I mean, I´m that kind of guy that continuously shows affection, express feelings and all that. The cuddly, smooching, sweet talking guy I am.
My last two girlfriends didn´t exactly liked it. The first I think thought that I was way too in love and couldn´t cope it, she felt she wasn´t ready for such involvement, the second turned out to be a cold hearted, lying bitch... but I digress.

My current GF seems to enjoy it though.
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  #41  
Old 12-13-2006, 05:56 AM
DianaG DianaG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice the Goon
He says that he just feels comfortable with me now. Ooookay, but if you love me and want me to love you back, wouldn't it behoove you to continue to treat me like I quite obviously enjoy? I was that eating that shit up, having been single for several years and being on that early-love high. Now I almost feel as if the roles are reversed, and I am courting him, which is fine if that's your bag, but I'm fairly traditional when it comes to man/woman stuff, and I don't like to feel like I'm "chasing" someone. I also don't much like being so vulnerable, and giving someone the power to break my heart, but such are relationships, I guess.
Those are some impressively unrealistic expectations you have there. He's your boyfriend, not the help. If you want someone to tell you how awesome you are all day every day, while you do nothing but bask in the glow of his admiration, hire a lackey.

Courting is a game. Everyone is on their best behavior, and checking that behavior against the rulebook constantly. There's nothing especially devious about it, it's just a best-foot-forward thing.

But no one can live that way all the time. It's exhausting. And so at some point, we relax. This is a good thing. It's called "intimacy" and it's supposedly what we all long for. There's a difference between "pulling back" and "settling in", and the tradeoff for being able to spend the evening eating pizza and watching movies in your pajamas without worrying about whether you're being sufficiently witty and charming, is that things become routine.

It's just plain not reasonable to expect someone to incessantly court you, and maintaining a relationship requires an entirely different approach than obtaining one. Relationships aren't about grand gestures. Establishing a relationship is about being a great "boy/girlfriend". Keeping it working is about being a great partner. Worry less about whether he tells you how much he adores you, and more about whether he asks how your day was, and actually listens to your response. Who cares if he brings you flowers, if he forgot the milk you asked for?
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  #42  
Old 12-13-2006, 06:01 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DianaG
But no one can live that way all the time.
Some can; they're called stalkers.
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  #43  
Old 12-13-2006, 06:04 AM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
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[QUOTE=Ale]Funny thing, I´ve had the opposite thing happen; I mean, I´m that kind of guy that continuously shows affection, express feelings and all that. /QUOTE]

I used to be that guy too, and one thing I can tell you: When you're constantly on in that mode, it will wear you and the relationship out.

Q
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  #44  
Old 12-13-2006, 06:15 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DianaG
Those are some impressively unrealistic expectations you have there. He's your boyfriend, not the help. If you want someone to tell you how awesome you are all day every day, while you do nothing but bask in the glow of his admiration, hire a lackey.

Courting is a game. Everyone is on their best behavior, and checking that behavior against the rulebook constantly. There's nothing especially devious about it, it's just a best-foot-forward thing.

But no one can live that way all the time. It's exhausting. And so at some point, we relax. This is a good thing. It's called "intimacy" and it's supposedly what we all long for. There's a difference between "pulling back" and "settling in", and the tradeoff for being able to spend the evening eating pizza and watching movies in your pajamas without worrying about whether you're being sufficiently witty and charming, is that things become routine.

It's just plain not reasonable to expect someone to incessantly court you, and maintaining a relationship requires an entirely different approach than obtaining one. Relationships aren't about grand gestures. Establishing a relationship is about being a great "boy/girlfriend". Keeping it working is about being a great partner. Worry less about whether he tells you how much he adores you, and more about whether he asks how your day was, and actually listens to your response. Who cares if he brings you flowers, if he forgot the milk you asked for?

Very wise words.....

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  #45  
Old 12-13-2006, 06:46 AM
Ale Ale is offline
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[QUOTE=Quasimodem]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ale
Funny thing, I´ve had the opposite thing happen; I mean, I´m that kind of guy that continuously shows affection, express feelings and all that. /QUOTE]

I used to be that guy too, and one thing I can tell you: When you're constantly on in that mode, it will wear you and the relationship out.

Q
Oh yes indeed, I should have mentioned that it´s a learned lesson. I show some moderation now.
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  #46  
Old 12-13-2006, 08:58 AM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Okay, okay. Seems the consensus is that his change is natural and actually a good sign. I may tend to overanalyze things a bit when it comes to relationships, probably because I haven't been in one for a long time and I'm just an overthinker, anyway. The change really was just so drastic, it threw me for a loop in a way.

And Telperien, I don't have time to link, but I was very concerned in the beginning with his attentions, it did seem over the top, and I did post a thread about it. I got over it real quick, though, and did get used to it.

I think basically what has happened is that he became comfortable with us before I did, and I wasn't quite ready for the settling in that he seems to have done. We shall see how this progresses, and I'll try not to fuck it up.
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  #47  
Old 12-13-2006, 09:22 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polerius
Why is this thread focusing only on men? [with the exception of pbbth]

It happens on both sides.

Are the women who complain that their guy isn't acting the same towards them as when they met, under the impression that they are acting the same towards their guy as when they met?

To paraphrase featherlou, "if you have taught your man that he will get sex every single day, it's understandable that he's going to come to expect that. If you can't sustain it, don't start it."
Absolutely. Good point.
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  #48  
Old 12-13-2006, 09:36 AM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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These are all good points, but something to keep in mind is how his "inattention" is manifesting itself.

Ok, so no flowers (rather an empty gesture anyway, but I'm digressing), but what if you are worried about something with one of your kids? Or there's been a minor glitch at work and you want to talk it over (hopefully NOT mindfucking it to death)?

How is he then? Does he show his affection in other ways? This sounds stereotypical, but is he concerned about your car maintenance? Or something similiar? (your computer, your cell phone?). Does he laugh at your jokes, still?

I highly doubt he is guilty of "bait and switch", but I would be concerned if not only the razzle-dazzle was gone, but so was the listening and/or the humor.
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  #49  
Old 12-13-2006, 09:53 AM
Pushkin Pushkin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
The feast of the carcass is never as exciting as the thrill of the hunt. (There's got to be a more appropriate metaphor here, but this is the first thing to come to mind.)
Egads man, Spock said it best when he said;

"After a time, you may find having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical – but it is often true."

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  #50  
Old 12-13-2006, 11:37 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Sorry for going off-topic from the OP, but this 'men are shallow/women are sophisticated' crap is a pet peeve of mine.
It's obviously not true in all cases but I think it's generally true that women tend to look for hidden meanings that men never had any intent to make. If a guy says "you look good in that dress" he usually just means "you look good in that dress". Don't try to analyze this for hidden meanings like "Why is he saying this now? Does he want something or does he feel like he needs to make up for something? Maybe he's going to say something bad and wants to soften the blow. Maybe he's looking for me to complement him. Maybe he doesn't like the other clothes I wear. Maybe he's telling me that dresses make me look more feminine and he really means his masculinity is threatened by me getting paid more than he does. Or maybe..."
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