WHAT IF SHE WONT COMMIT -- BUT WONT LET GO?
Women Don't Lie - Men Don't Listen
Success Coach - Doc Love
I started dating Erin in August 2002. We had about five or six dates, but were otherwise
seeing other people and things were moving very slowly. In December she asked me to go to
New York for New Years Eve. We went, had a fantastic time, and then things took off
more seriously. From that point, we both decided to date each other exclusively.
We had a fabulous time together. I fell in love with Erin and she fell in love with me. We
went on a number of trips together and I treated her like gold. She was good to me in
return, though I would have preferred she was more of a Giver. All in all, however, she is
a fantastic woman and has the kind of values that I want in a life partner. However, I can
see now that to some extent I was not much of a Challenge as time went on.
We are both conservative and would never live together before marriage, so moving in with
Erin was never an issue -- it was always when and if we were going to get married. And
marrying her was something I was mentally preparing to do, but I was just waiting for her
signals to me to become more clear. About two months ago, I noticed subtle changes in her
behavior. She did a few minor things that indicated she was losing interest, so I asked
her if that was the case. She assured me this was not so, and being in a state of mind
where I heard her say what I wanted to hear, I chose to believe her.
Well, one day out of nowhere she suggests that she needs time apart. Not being
a total idiot, I said time apart wasnt for me, and I defined my boundaries quite
clearly and said if she was committed to me, then great, but if she wasnt, we should
stop seeing each other altogether and just end things like adults. She did not like me
setting my boundaries so strictly because I suspect they were rather unsettling for her
and not convenient for whatever it was she was trying to achieve.
Anyway, for the past six weeks Ive been trying to distance myself from Erin (a
painful and difficult experience). Over this same time period she has shown up at my house
(unannounced!) to visit my family when she knew I was there, she has called me
numerous times and has sent me a number of e-mails. Initially I was sucked into these
antics, such as on one occasion on my deceased mothers birthday when Erins
sister was giving birth that same day. She called upset, so I took a pizza to her house to
cheer her up. On another occasion, I accidentally bumped into her when I was out with a
(female) friend for a drink. Every encounter with her is totally awkward and draining, and
last week I reiterated to her that I wanted to stay away from her until she has some
clarity about what she wants, and in the meantime Im going to get on with my life.
Given that I genuinely love this woman and care for her deeply, what would you recommend
that I do? I cant allow her to treat me like a revolving door, but I dont want
to entirely shut her out if she is somehow trying to extend an olive branch without coming
right out and saying it. As we all know, woman are best judged by their actions, and right
now hers are rather inconsistent (which implies low interest). I know I cant do
anything to control her, but when she contacts me again (which she inevitably will, either
in person, or by phone or e-mail) what is the best thing for me to do?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Les who is Mister Confused
Lets clear something up right out of the chute. The decision to date
exclusively wasnt made by you and Erin together. She decided to date you
exclusively. What have I told you guys in the past? We pick, but they choose. Big
difference, and one you shouldnt lose sight of. And why did she make that decision?
Because you managed to drive her Interest Level up into the 90s. At least for a little
Les, when you use the word gold, Im very suspicious that youre
acting like a stooge. Im the best love cop on earth, and my evidence for saying that
is that Erins Interest Level, by your own admission, began to drop. And as time goes
on, being anti-Challenge will continue to lower Interest Level. (But I do want to
compliment you on recognizing that Erin was not a Giver. You recognized that one-third of
what she has to offer you wasnt all that great, so you were down to two-thirds of a
woman.) So lets get this straight, pal moving in with Erin was never an
issue, not because you went to the same church, but because she had lowered Interest Level
Its worth looking at this phenomenon more closely. Interest Level doesnt
plummet suddenly from 95% to 35%. It sinks slowly, as the guy you, in this case
says and does all the wrong things. And the guy thinks that he can get away with it
because the girl is already locked in. And she is -- when her Interest Level is at 95%.
But eventually it will drop to 93%...then 89%...and then 84%...and when it hits the magic
number of 49%, thats it, boy youre all washed up.
Now Les, Ill give you $100 million if you can get a woman to say, when you ask her
what she wants in a man, that she wants a guy who doesnt lower her Interest Level by
kissing her fanny. When Erin told you she needed time apart, you should have said nothing.
You should have smiled and walked out. You dont sit there and give her your game
plan, you dont tell her how you feel, you dont tell her what youre going
to do you leave. But you did all this stuff. And in her mind, it was another wimpy
form of begging.
You went on to tell her that you should break up like adults. Les, exactly how do adults
break up? As far as I know, there are no sweet, mature ways to do it. When Erin informed
you that she needed her space that was it. Finito. The end. Youd hit the magic
number: 49%. Of course shell play with you like a cat plays with a mouse at 40%-49%,
give you a little false hope, but when it hits 39%, shes in the arms of another guy.
In other words, shell play with your head until she strikes paydirt with another
jerk, another weakling.
But whoa, wait a second here -- you got tough and set some hard boundaries that really
bothered your girl, huh? Sorry, Les, but she wasnt really upset. It was just a
little smokescreen she threw up that had nothing to do with anything. She was grabbing at
something, anything, to indicate her low Interest Level. (The problem is, women never come
out and say it. He lowered my Interest Level due to his deportment, is not
something youll ever hear tumble out of a ladys lovely bee-stung lips.)
So what happened to all those tight boundaries when Erin showed up at your home? Why
didnt you just duck out? Why didnt you tell her you were going to the kitchen
for a second, then walk straight out the back door and come back at midnight?
Because you wanted the torture. I just hope you havent answered any of her phone
calls or e-mails. I have a feeling you did, though. Know why? Because you took that pizza
with the works over to her when she didnt even ask you to. A huge, huge mistake. Les
-- youre delivering pizza? Arent you a little embarrassed, at your age, to be
a delivery boy for a girl who doesnt want to possess you?
What you should have done when you bumped into Erin was start making time with your female
friend. Ill give you a hundred bucks if you kiss me in front of her, you
should have offered your gal-pal. Know why these encounters are so draining? Because
youre not prepared for them. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, Keep it fun
and keep it light. And never, ever let em know they got to you! You have to be
on top of your game at all times, buddy.
Unfortunately, Erin doesnt give a hoot, Les. Until shes crying on your
doorstep for you to take her back, shes got all the clarity she needs. How many
times do I have to tell you guys -- the woman only cares about her feelings? In her mind
thats all that counts.
Shes extending an olive branch, you say? Theyre Molotov cocktails shes
hurling at you, man! Cant you tell the difference? (Hint: the Molotov
cocktails the quart of gasoline with the burning rag hanging out of it, dummy!)
Jeez, youd have better luck negotiating with Fidel Castro! Inconsistent actions, you
say? Wrong! Shes very consistent. She said she needed her freedom, and shes
not in your arms! Sounds totally consistent to me.
The best thing for you to do now, Les, is block Erins incoming e-mails. If she calls
you on the phone and you accidentally pick up, say How have you been, baby? Look,
Id like to talk to you, but my dates in the bathroom. But I want you to know
something. She doesnt mean a thing to me. You know youre the one. So keep in
. Click. Then go back to reading the Bible.
Remember, guys: when its over, leave first.
To send me your love questions or to find out more about The "System," visit me
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Doc Love is a talk show host and entertainment speaker who coaches men in his seminars.
For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, "Why do you stay with
one man versus another?"
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