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Iona Magazine :: Love, Relationship & Daily Life Advice

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Dear Claire,

I think I have a problem! I am a 24 year old college senior. I am very attractive, not only to myself but to men as well, (they are constantly telling me so).

Anyway, I often date 5 or 6 times a week and each time it is a different date with a different man. Most of the guys are pretty nice and I start out really wanting to get to know them better. However, my problem is this, I love the pre-dating moments that lead up to intimacy, however, once that occurs, I am no longer interested in anything about them.

I cannot explain this attitude of mine and I do not want to be this way. I would like to be in a committed relationship with a man that I really care about. Could you please shed some light on my situation? Do I have a mental disorder? How can I stop this bad behavior before it destroys me and possibly someone else?

Dear No Longer Interested,

I wouldn’t necessarily call your behavior a “mental disorder” however, you are in need of some self-exploration, positive esteem building and some behavior modification. You can start by evaluating what makes you do this? Is it something that the man expects from you? Is it something that you expect of yourself? Where have you learned this behavior? What does this behavior get for you? etc…Write down the answers to this evaluation as well as your feelings while you are focusing on this issue (keep a journal).

In addition to self-exploration, you will want to try a behavior strategy. For example, write down a plan. Start with short time periods. For thirty (30) days you are going to abstain from being intimate with any of your dates and you will attempt to cultivate a relationship/friendship that would include talking about their philosophies on life, political issues, life goals, past history, etc…

Since the thrill of dating is very satisfying to you, as you have stated, and since you enjoy those “pre-dating moments” you can make those moments last longer—weeks longer, if you so choose to.

In addition to sharing meaningful conversation with these men, you can also share dinner, movies, plays, concerts, walks on the beach, etc…hence, allowing those dating moments to continue while attempting to cultivate a relationship/friendship without sex. You have control in this situation. Repeat to yourself… “I will break this pattern and since I do want to have a significant, committed relationship—I need to conduct myself differently.”

During the thirty- (30) day period, write down your observations and feelings. Be willing to extend the time period for another thirty days. Continue your daily journal of feelings and thoughts. It would also be important, at some point in time to verbally share with these men your situation. Who knows, you may get support and encouragement! Remember you are much more important than just intimacy---and so are they.

Good Luck---after you try this behavior strategy approach, write to me again and let me know how you are doing…
Take Care!

Hi Claire,

I have a question for you. There is this guy that I am a best friend with. We have been pretty much best friends for about 6 years. We do just about everything together and we always have the greatest time. I have expressed my desire for him to possibly become my boyfriend but he always says that he’s not ready for a relationship. However, he is constantly expressing his desire to be intimate.

Well, against my better judgement, I gave in. I thought that maybe this might change his mind and he would want to have a relationship with me, however, he still just wants to remain “good friends.” Only now, we are good friends that are continuously intimate. This upsets me greatly and I don’t feel as though I can hang out with him after this. I still want to be friends with him, but I don’t know how to keep my feelings in check. Can you give me some suggestions?

Well, my friend,

As you are aware you and your friend have crossed the best friend line and have added another component/dynamic to the relationship, which usually does complicate things. Your male friend has not verbally expressed a change in the relationship, but has physically allowed the change to occur. I don’t think it is wise to be intimate with a man who can not admit verbally his feelings regarding this change in status. Your communication with him should be enhanced to prevent yourself from being hurt in the future and to better understand him. It appears that he verbally denies being ready for a relationship, however, he is already in a relationship, with you!

This is very confusing and you need to communicate your feelings verbally and create a situation in which he can share his feelings with you as well. You don’t have to be a nag or so forceful in your communication process----but plant the little seeds of communication. For example, “Let’s talk about us….” or “you are such a great boyfriend…” Ask your friend to define “relationship” for you---to get some definition/clarification. With questions like these, maybe you will gain a better understanding of where you stand with him. Also, you must evaluate yourself---Is this something that you can live with? If so, then you will continue to accept him and his non-commitment, which may eventually cause you a great deal of emotional pain. It is really your call!

Remember: “Women are generally open beings by nature and design. Men are generally closed.” So be careful who you open yourself up to.

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