I’ve had three date with a very nice and kind man. How do I tell him to slow down and not get so excited so fast that “this is it”? I’ve never had this happen before. He is very, very sweet. I enjoy being affectionate in public with men I’m attracted to, yet he’s acting like we’re a couple way too soon. This coming weekend, he is taking me to a very nice restaurant. I am happy to go, but I don’t want him to have such high expectations of me. I also don’t want to feel obligated that I somehow owe him some type of commitment in return for the fancy meal. Don’t get me wrong – we have had fun on our last three dates – but I do not know how to get his expectations in check. What should I do?
How to slow a guy down? I feel your pain. I’ve been down this road before. After a string of first dates with men you’re not interested in, you finally meet a good guy. The conversation flows and there’s attraction, but he moves too quickly and the attraction takes a nosedive. Here’s the deal: men who tell you “this is it” before they know you well can be a huge turnoff. These men come across as needy, and as a strong independent woman, you are not looking to take care of a man’s emotions. You want a strong independent man, right?
I don’t know much about your date, but if he’s coming on too strong, he is probably not fully seeing YOU, but projecting an ideal onto you. If you’re an emotionally healthy woman, that type of projection and adoration can feel stifling, not flattering. There’s a feeling of clinginess and claustrophobia – like he’s glomming onto you and you can’t breathe. You want to be adored by the right man, but you also want to be fully seen and heard. Following are some warning signs that a man is coming on too strong and what you can do about it.
4 warning signs that he’s coming on too strong
1. Too much phone/text/email from the start. I recently got three emails in a row from a guy who was pursuing me online. Too much!! He was planning our amazing over the top first date, and I hadn’t even responded to a single email yet. Take it slow if you want to get someone’s attention and affection – online or offline. You are building a relationship one step at a time, not running a race to the altar.
2. Too much praise too soon. If he says any of these things on the 2nd date, he is coming on too strong: “You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever met.” “Wow, I’ve never met anyone like you.” “You’re the one!” I had a guy say “You’re the one!” on a second date. I wasn’t. He wasn’t. We weren’t.
3. Planning the future before there is one. If you’ve had two dates and he’s planning: a) your vacation together b) an event he’d like to take you to a few months down the road or c) when to introduce you to his parents or children, he’s projecting a future before there is one. I once had a guy tell me on a third date that he was thinking of relocating to my area, but he couldn’t move into my house because I didn’t have enough room for his books. Huh? I didn’t remember inviting him to move in with me. That was our last date.
4. Too sexual too soon. If a guy puts the moves on too soon and you’re not comfortable, ask him to please slow down. Don’t shut him down, though, because that could be a big blow to his ego. If you are attracted to him, compliment him and let him know. Tell him something like this, “Joe, I’m very attracted to you, and I love being with you. And I want you to know that I don’t have sex with anyone until we’re exclusive. If and when we are in a committed relationship, you’ll be in for the night of your life. Until then, I’d love to continue with these delicious kisses. Does that work for you?” If he loses interest or gets angry, that’s a good sign that he is not your man. You want a man to respect your boundaries, whether it’s sexual or emotional. If he doesn’t, leave him and find someone who respects and cherishes all of you.
The bottom line is this “you’re-the-one-in-five-minutes” behavior is usually a sign of codependency. This type of guy doesn’t have clear boundaries and his identity is defined by you. In other words, his me is made up of you.A healthy relationship is interdependent – two emotionally independent people coming together to form a third beautiful entity of us.
You asked how you can “get his expectations in check.” You can’t make anyone do anything. With an emotionally healthy man, you can communicate your feelings and concerns and see what he says. If he is truly codependent, you can’t do much to get through to him. That’s the job of a good therapist, but only if he sees that there’s a problem and wants to help himself. I suggest you tell him how you feel about slowing the freak down, and see how he responds. If he can’t slow down, it’s time to move on. Nice guys are wonderful, but “nice” is not enough. If a guy is smothering you, use that magic four letter word in dating…NEXT! And move on to find the right man for you.
Have you ever had a man come on too strong too soon? Or maybe you fell for a man too soon and built your expectations up – maybe even before you met? Please share your thoughts.
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