I always get the best inspiration from reading the boards on Advice. One user recently wrote in about a guy she had met on eHarmony, who she really seemed to click with. They spent hours on the phone, sent each other detailed and personal emails, and had some really great early dates.
So where did things seem to go awry?
1. She told him off the bat that she was a “commitment-phobe.”
2. When he asked where she thought things were going with their relationship, she suggested he continue to date other people (even though she really seemed to like him).
Now, he has backed off and she is waiting for his next move – if there will be one.
I think there are several lessons we can all learn from this story.
First, less history, more mystery. If you have had commitment issues in the past, try to leave them there (and don’t tell your new love interest about it in the beginning!). Be open to the possibility of a great new relationship – and don’t let your past or fears dictate your future. The best thing anyone can do is to begin with a blank slate and just see where things lead.
Second, say what you mean. If you really like someone, telling them to see other people is not the best idea — because they just might! They also might think, “Wow, this one isn’t that into me if they are encouraging me to date others.”
It really sounds like this person is unclear about what she wants and may be afraid of letting someone in. Most individuals aren’t going to want to invest much energy into the emotionally unavailable, so another takeaway is to make sure you have dealt with your baggage before you embark on a relationship.
Have you screwed up a potentially good relationship by sending mixed messages? If so, why?