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Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 842
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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Hi,Its me chandy again. I asked about the guy who asked me

Customer Question

Hi, Its me chandy again. I asked about the guy who asked me out last week online. Well, he has been acting a little strange this week. He was a very nice guy and all of a sudden, I don't really hear from him. Last time we spoke was Monday. And yesterday, I sent him a small IM text, he signed out about an hour later. then I sent him one last one this morning to" have a good day and we'll chat later." He was not on very long and signed off. He never mentioned anything about making up for the cancellation last weekend. I never showed any signs of neediness, only common courtesy messages (which I only did once or twice offline). I feel like my fear is happening, he may have lost interest and does not have the guts to tell me. I am hurt because I thought he was also interested. I would love to have him come back on and apologize or chat again. He seemed very attentive and cared about my feelings in the beginning. I am not sure if he is still busy with his job and can't talk. At least he could have informed me. But on the other hand, its not like we were dating or anything. I am hurt and confused. What is your advice or opinion. Why do men do this to woman? To add to that, he gave me hope when i thought he lost interest last week. then all of a sudden, POOF!!! he's gone, or maybe not. Makes me sad.


I know for a fact, he does not date much, is an honest genuine guy. He does a lot of studying for his job (IT tech) in a hospital. I understand he is busy, and chatting on line might not be a priority even if he is interested in me. He eventually went back online. I have learned my mistakes with men in the past. But sometimes, a nice guy may come along and I am oblivious to it or not sure if he feels the same. He does get sidetracked at times (doing homework, showering, etc, and doesn't IM me until like an hour later, but eventually does. Maybe I am just too hard on myself and don't realize that he is a great guy and I am worried for no reason. Hope that is the real reason.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Norman Brown :

It is a little puzzling, though I think I did read your previous post. For starters, I can think of two factors involved here.

Customer:

Hi

Customer:

I just don't know what I did or if he found somebody else online. when I asked him why he cancelled, he gave me a legitimate reason that it was work related. I think he knew I was interested in him. I thought he felt the same way. He was a very nice genuine guy.

Dr. Norman Brown :

If he doesn't date much, then he might not have a lot of experience with those awkward moments when confusing expectations and miscommunications happen. If he had to cancel last weekend, he might feel pretty uncomfortable about it and not know how to get past feeling guilty, not know what to say or do. So he might want to bury his head in the sand to get away from feeling like he failed you. If he's a shy person that feeling of inadequacy might actually overpower the excitement of attraction that he had before--so he's withdrawing and procrastinating about contacting you, because he's worried that he won't do or say the right thing and so he'll just make things worse.

Dr. Norman Brown :

And the more he procrastinates, the more he'll beat himself up for doing the wrong thing. So he could feel as bad as you do or even worse.

Customer:

It does seem like it makes sense. He told me that I was very attractive in my photos. I have alot going on in my life, focusing on school and career. Maybe he has never had an attractive women approach him before. He is also attractive but I can sense he may be shy or quie, bookworm. Do these kind of men come back and initiate again. Afterall, I made the first move. We never spoke about anything sexual or too deep about our lives. He was the one initiating the date and sometimes even contacted me to talk to me. I did thought that he was loosing interest for awhile last week, then he came back and we began talking again. He got my hopes up. I know he sees me online and sees my texts, is he insecure about himself. I just don't know what I did. Was his feelings becoming strong and he got scared, or is he too busy with work? Do men like this come around again? I have been hurt before, I just don't want it to happen again to me.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Then the other problem is IMing: when you're expecting an immediate response and you don't get it, then you're naturally disappointed and that turns into hurt. During that time when you're watching the clock and hoping for an encouraging response, your hurt can turn into elaborate thought scenarios like yourse about him not liking you after all, and then some anger at him for being nice again but then leaving you hanging again. These emotions of awkwardness, embarrassment, disappointment, hurt, guilt, frustrated hopes, etc. can take off like a runaway train when electronic communication intrudes into both people's lives no matter what else they're trying to do.

Dr. Norman Brown :

So what to do? I'd suggest this: Help him recover from his tailspin (if that's what it is, I can't be sure). Send him a message (or email) that starts out with "You don't have to respond to this right away. Wait till you're free and have had time to think." (So first you remove the time and performance pressure caused by the immediacy of messaging.)

Customer:

Will he eventually come around again, is he still attracted to me. He never mentioned about "making up" our date for the weekend. He also seems like a very intelligent straightforward guy at the same time.

Customer:

What do you mean by "tailspin ". Sorry, a little confused. It said on his profile he is looking for a serious relationship and is ready to settle down. Or maybe I am just not what he is looking for. Its hard to swallow.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Then you take away his possible worry that he's already blown it by not making the right moves. You write him that you'd like to get together again to make up for last weekend, but not necessarily anything big--even an hour for coffee (or beer or whatever--low formality) would do. And what could he suggest for a time in the near future--weekend coming up again. If you remember some part of his contribution to your conversation from before you could express interest in knowing more about that.

Customer:

Should I wait a few days or now. I believe he may still be online. I just don't want to seem desperate. I will take your advice still. It that doesn't work, what is the next thing I should do?

Dr. Norman Brown :

You'd be building a bridge out in front of you in time, so you both have a secure path to walk up to getting together again. He'll be relieved that his cancellation and procrastination haven't ruined everything. If I were you I would NOT worry about whether he's stopped liking you or not. He's just awkward. And it's also quite possible that his life isn't structured in such a way that he's got the time to start up a regular relationship. A great many people have allowed their work-centered lives to get so hectic that there's not enough room for a new growing friendship with romantic potential. Especially if they're inexperienced or shy, being over-committed acts as an excuse to not deal with the emotional challenges of dating. So this guy might need some time to adjust his time management so he can enjoy the potential you have opened up.

Dr. Norman Brown :

I don't think there's any chance that he DOESN'T want to spend fun time with you. So you're just making it easier for him to work it out so he can do that, by suggesting something informal and not very time-consuming for a next meeting. The days of the guy doing all the pursuing, even in the beginning, are long gone. And the many of the nicest guys are not skilled or practiced in the art of pursuing women.

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX a better understanding of things. I remembered he mentioned that he tries to see his friends when he can, but work gets in the way. When he cancelled on me, I was understanding and was not upset. He told me he wants to try to see how this weekend would go and that it would be better. but then no answer me back.

Customer:

thank you,

Dr. Norman Brown :

It's even possible that he's not prepared to adjust his hectic life so he can have a meaningful relationship with some heart in it. But if you show him by gentle perseverance that you're not going to go away mad if he doesn't show you enough attention right away, he'll be more motivated to make room for you in his life -- because he'll be thinking YOU'RE a nice & easy to talk to girl that hasn't showed up on his radar in a long time, if ever.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Let me know if I've misread this situation, and I'll be glad to respond to anything new that you write.

Dr. Norman Brown :

I wonder about your age too. and his age--just curious.

Customer:

thank you, XXXXX XXXXX a better understanding of things now. When I asked him if I was pressuring him into doing something that he did not want to do such as "dating" he said that it "wasn't it." I felt hopeful. He thanked me for being understanding and that I was a sweet person. Then we chatted for a few more days, Monday was the last day. And he would apologize for not getting back on time before. he would always IM me back even if it was later. Women tend to have crazy thoughts go through our mind. I guess I am little hurt because he is still online (or he forgot to sign off, which does happen at times cause he is studying with the computer on.) Or worst case scenario, he is talking to somebody else.

Customer:

I am 34, divorced, He is 28 (but looks a little older). I look much younger than him. I am a light skinned attractive asian woman and he is an American, very handsome looking. I do see him look at my profile a few times while we are chatting. I thought I would give love another try. I know its only been 2 weeks talking in wee hours of the night, but my feelings for him were beginning to grow. I will do my best. I don't usually approach men like this. I guess I got his attention when I told him I find men in uniform attractive (he used to be in the army, was a photo of him in uniform.) and we hit it off from there. He did mention that he was not in the mood "to date" , I thought he meant at all. but the sentence was followed by, "we can see how next weekend goes." I guess he was referring to at that moment when he wasn't in the mood to take me out because of pressure from work. Thank you again.

Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 842
Experience: Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
Dr. Norman Brown and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
Please keep me posted on what's happening--I think if you can make even 1 hour together happen this weekend he'll be so motivated to make room for you in his life. I would caution against letting the whole conversation stay on the Internet, because that's very conducive to building romantic castles in the air, that turn out to not match the person in face-time at all. I'm also concerned about guys who do computerwork for a living, because it's probably impossible for them not to bring their work home, so it ends up eating their time. Computers don't teach much social graces either.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Dr. Brown,


your advice helped very much. I began my message with "you don't have to respond right away, but give yourself some free time to think about it,, etc."


He responded back two days afterwards and apologized for not responding right away. He said he has been out and busy, but that he would love to meet up and have coffee sometime for small talk. Maybe this coming weekend. I understand that I need to be patient. I do agree that he hasn't had that much experience in dating. We only live 45 minutes apart, I don't believe he is talking to other women online other than me on the website. He seems very genuine and honest person. I am wondering how long can i wait until i get a date from this man. We haven't exchanged phone numbers yet, and how soon should we do that? He is 28 (very mature and intelligent, I am 34, still young at heart and loves life.) maybe he saw that I was a fun person with a big heart who needed somebody like me in his life.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Dr. Brown,
Well, eventually he responded back. My fear was right, he eventually told me he had met somebody recently ( unless he was no longer interested and used that as an excuse.). I respectfully told him that he was the nicest guy I have ever met and for him to feel free to chat with me as friends . On the other hand, I have 3 dates lined up for me within the next two weeks. These guys are closer to my age and more compatible. Thank you for your time and patience with me.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
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