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DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 347
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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When a woman says "I think we should just stay friends..."

Customer Question

When a woman says "I think we should just stay friends..." after dating for about a month , is her tactful way of saying and equivalent to "I've found another and you're history" ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 4 years ago.

DrJackiePhD :

Hi! Is someone helping you?

DrJackiePhD :

I'm Dr. Jackie, and I'm here to help. I see you were online but now are offline. I'm going to switch over to Q&A and try to help.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Inever got an answer to my question.....
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 4 years ago.


I am here to help you. I'm Dr. Jackie. I have to go away from my computer for about two hours but will be back on later today and this evening.

For now, to address your concerns, one interpretation for a woman (or man although stereotypically it does seem to be more common that the woman says this) saying she wants to be friends after a month is that she has indeed found another dating partner. Another interpretation might be that while there was an initial attraction, perhaps after getting to know someone a bit better, she could realize that on more important levels such as core beliefs, values, etc. there may not be a strong compatibility.

If this has recently happened to you, and you really want to know her reasons, it wouldn't hurt to call and ask to meet as a friend for coffee and just casually bring it up in conversation, not confrontationally but because you really want to know.

Like I said, I need to step away from my computer for a few hours; but if you do reply and want to discuss this or anything else further, I will be back on later this afternoon and evening East Coast Time.


==Dr. Jackie

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

o why doesn't he just come out and tell me that ? and not beat around the bush ?

Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 4 years ago.

I wanted to get back to you sooner, and I'm sorry I wasn't able to answer until now.

A lot of people find it difficult to be direct or forthcoming or blunt when it means they might be hurting or offending someone else. Society has taught us that it's "nicer" or "more polite" to be vague or ambiguous in our responses. In other words, "beating around the bush" is a great analogy that you used. And it actually makes the person who could have been more blunt and more direct (and thus likely hurt the other person) feel less guilty because they are not directly hurting the other person.

Unfortunately, the reality is that it often makes the communication even more misunderstood. :-(

I know it probably isn't comforting to hear this. But like I had said in an earlier post, there are various reasons for a reply like "I think we should just stay friends." Maybe the other person genuinely does remain attracted but has personal issues that have nothing to do with you.

What I'm trying to say is that it isn't always easy to analyze even a short statement. If you really want to know and think the other will be open if you can sit down and talk, then I would encourage you to meet for coffee and just ask. You deserve to know, and the cost now at this point is the cost of a cup of joe!

I wish you the best as you work through this. Please let me know if I have helped and/or if I can help you further!

==Dr. Jackie
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
need specifics
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 4 years ago.
Hi Again!

I am unsure what you mean by "need specifics." If you mean you would like some specific suggestions, I am trying to give you some possible explanations for the actions you asked about. If you want specific strategies to deal with this, then the best thing I can suggest is try to meet and be honest and open and just ask.

I know that is easier said than done, but I know from trial and error as well as numerous research studies--honesty and openness are the best policy in just any situation.

If I am not understanding you, maybe it would be easier to go into the chat room?

Please let me know.

==Dr. Jackie

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