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Online Dating: Why Did He Stop Trying to Impress Her?

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We’ve got a frustrated young lady going by the name of Grr, who wants to know how come her guy stopped trying to impress her after she told him she wanted to be more than friends. Oh, he’s still her BF, and a good one. But no more of the “special” stuff she liked at the beginning. What gives? Oh, I have an inkling.

Hi Jeff,
I read your book and stayed up until 3am finishing it. It has definitely shed some light on my dating life!

Oh yes? You…you mean THIS lil’ ol’ book right here? Well shuck my jive, it looks like that book is available on Amazon Kindle as well! Well, whaddya know about that? Ahem. Carry on.

I met my current boyfriend off Craigslist (yes, I know…) about 6 months ago.

Was he listed as, “Old futon for sale, looking for a good home. No pets, please“? No? Weird.

We went on a blind date at a ghetto pizza joint. We met under the pretense of being friends. It was very clear he was interested in more, and for the next 2 months, we hung out, flirted, made out a bit, but no sex. I totally started to fall for him. He was the last person I thought I’d like, but he grew on me like fungus. (The Good Kind):)

Sure, I’m with you. Shitake, right? Or crimini? Not, for example, the kind you might find on a futon you bought off of CraigsList. Gotcha.

Anyways, he was always very open about his feelings, very affectionate, would go out of his way to impress me; UP UNTIL THE POINT I TOLD HIM I WANTED TO BE MORE THAN “FRIENDS” -  Now, he is like a different person.

Uh oh.

We still hang out, have a great time together, and he TOLD me numerous times he wants to be my boyfriend (and we are currently in a BF/GF relationship)

Oh ok, that doesn’t sound as bad as you think.

…but he is no longer in the “impress your new girlfriend” mode, and he doesn’t talk about his feelings openly like he used to.

Yeah, that’s not necessarily so bad. I’ll ’splain in a minute.

What’s up with that? He does include me in family events, we still have a great time together, but the more affectionate, open guy I “fell” for, seems to be missing from the picture. Was he just in it for the chase?

~ Grr…….

Dear Grr,

Well, the bad news is that yes, there ARE guys who are only in it for the chase. The good news is that this guy doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Why do I think that? Well, those guys don’t generally stick around.  After they catch their chase-ee, they usually find themselves incredibly bored.  (Truth be told, they were bored before, too. That’s why they needed to “chase.”) When they tell you they’re bored, they might not use that word, exactly. They might pronounce that word as “crazy busy” or “not ready for a relationship” but that’s what it is.

But not this guy. He’s not only including you in family stuff, he’s still looking to have a good time with you, be your boyfriend, etc. So why did all the “impress her” stuff stop?

THE CHASE AIN’T JUST FOR CHASERS

Well, “the chase” might have had an effect here, even if he wasn’t in it just for the chase.

Manslata what?

Here’s the thing. In many cases, the male brain thinks in terms of cause and effect. I do THIS to get OVER THERE. He wanted to be with you. And he wanted you to want to be with him.

Then, he GOT that stuff. And the main spark that lit that fire underneath him to do that stuff before — i.e. to get closer  — suddenly isn’t there anymore. He doesn’t “need” to do something special to get closer. You’re, you know, there.

What he doesn’t realize (and I’m guessing this is a young-ish guy) is that even though he doesn’t have a “finish line” to reach with you at the moment, a relationship still requires attention.

METAPHOR, PLEASE?

A lot of guys I know don’t really understand how to take care of plants. I know that I’m not great at it. Why? Well, we forget to water them. Is it because we don’t really like the plant? No, it’s because…well, there’s nothing to “accomplish.” I already own the plant. It’s not like if I water it, something total cool is going to happen. If a plant would…I don’t know, explode if you watered it enough, I’d probably remember to do it.

This is why guys often forget to get their woman flowers “for no reason.” I mean, if there’s no reason…er…why would we do it? Took me a long, long time (and a very intense conversation with the lil’ lady) to get that one. And I still forget.

HOW TO GET IT BACK? GIVE HIM THE OCCASIONAL GOAL LINE

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What do I mean by that? Well, you’ve got to train him that there is still big fun to be had in “impressing” you, as you put it. You have to show him that, by doing these things, he becomes a total rock star of a boyfriend.

How? Well, you might have to stack the deck a little in the beginning. Given that he’s been a little recalcitrant in his boyfriendial duties of late, you might have to give him a bit of a “gimme.” Basically, come up with a reason to be “bowled over” by something nice that he does.

Basically, fake it ’til he makes it. Show him, and in no uncertain terms, that when he treats you right, he’s going to KNOW about it. Encourage what you like, and you’ll get more of it. (Hint: you probably already know that this tactic works in the ol’ sack as well.)

OR YOU COULD JUST DO IT THE EASY WAY

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As I say, my enwifened lady faire once let me know that she was rather disappointed in my behavior. In her case it was the fact that I rarely thought to get her a little something for nothing. That was what she happened to be missing. She let me know exactly how she felt, and what she wanted. I’m not going to say I ALWAYS remember to do that kind of stuff for her, but I’ll tell you what — had she not told me about it in no uncertain terms, I probably wouldn’t have guessed. Not exactly anyway.

I know, I know, a lot of women hate that advice. They don’t want to come right out and say what they want. It annoys them that the guy doesn’t guess. And they think it makes them look weak, clingy, needy, something. Well, you know what REALLY makes you look like that? Wanting something but not telling him.

Good luck, Grr. By the description of your relationship, it sounds like you just need a little tune up. Let him know what you need to go from Grr to Prr, and I’ll bet you anything that you get it.


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