Simply Solo Spotlight: How NOT to Smother Your Guy
I’m so excited to have a male perspective two weeks in a row on Simply Solo! This week’s Spotlight is brought to us by Dave, owner of Hot Date Ideas. This site is a great source of date ideas, romantic ideas and dating advice. Dave’s been through it all and is happy to share what he’s learned about dating from a guy’s point-of-view.
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How NOT to Smother Your Guy
I’m sure you’ve all been in a relationship (or seen it firsthand) where things seem to be going great and then BAM! the guy starts pulling away and it’s over. There are plenty of reasons for a breakup, but one that women don’t always recognize is that they may have been smothering the guy without even knowing it.
So here I am to tell you about a few seemingly harmless things women do that can make a guy start looking for the exit.
1. You, Your Guy, and His Best Friend are NOT the Three Musketeers
You love spending time with your guy, right? And from all the stories you’ve heard, he loves spending time with his best buddy. So why not bring everyone together for the best time ever? They don’t really want to, that’s why. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this and how few times it works as well as the new girlfriend thinks. Sure, his buddy smiled and laughed, asked you a few questions, and seemed to be having a pretty good time. But he wasn’t. You want to know why? Because they can’t act the same way when you’re around. This is just the way of things; guys do guy stuff when they’re together and girls do girl stuff when they’re together. Just remember he needs that guy time too, so try not to insert yourself into his friendship or the BFF might decide to start undermining you.
The solution? If you really want to hang out with the guys, get the BFF a GF ASAP.
2. Be a Tortoise Not a Hare
Never rush a relationship. Years ago, I dated this girl who, through some tricky wordplay, basically forced me to give her the girlfriend title. We’d only been going out for a few weeks and I was like “Uh, yeah sure I guess that would mean…” – you can imagine the rest. This made her happy, so we smiled and kissed and I started to become very concerned.
When you push things, guys may tell you what you want to hear or do what you’re asking, but they’re probably not happy about the pressure. My advice is to hold off on the “Hi, it’s me” calls or “What are we doing this weekend?” emails until you’re actually in that place. This goes for leaving stuff at his place (I know it’s convenient), introducing him as your boyfriend, and meeting your friends and family too. Let him take those steps first.
What’s too much and what’s too little when it comes to texting? In some relationships, a never-ending feed seems cute, while in others, two or three texts a day may feel suffocating. Even though it’s subjective, there are a few warning signs that you’re texting too much. Ask yourself, are you the one who always initiates texts? Does he regularly ignore messages? Is he waiting a long time before answering? Are his answers brief and does he not ask questions in return? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these, he’s probably hinting that you text too much.
The problem with texting more than your guy’s comfortable with is that it makes you look more serious about the relationship than him and, over time, even a bit desperate. This is not where you want to be. Let him initiate things and pursue you. He’s a guy, that’s what he does.
Oh, and please cut back on the LOLs. Seriously.
4. Don’t Force Him to “Talk About It”
Back in my more naïve days (really clueless), I read the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus hoping to gain some insight into girls. The one thing that stuck with me is that men and women deal with problems in completely different ways. I was amazed to discover that you come to us with problems you don’t necessarily want help solving. Apparently, it’s more of a life-sharing thing where you hope we’ll empathize with your situation and gain insight into you as a person. Or something like that. Anyway, the point is that women like to discuss problems whether they want a solution or not.
On the other hand, the book described men as being like dragons. When we have problems, we retreat into our caves to figure things out by ourselves and woe to anyone who disturbs the dragon in his cave. This is because we’re taught to be “manly” and solve things on our own. So while you discuss relationship problems with your friends, it’s important to note that we do not discuss them with ours.
This leads to the obvious issue of women sharing feelings with guys but getting nothing in return, which makes them think the guy is either closed off and needs opening (he does not) or that there’s something wrong with the relationship. The answer is none of the above, and when you try to push him on it, he’ll feel all of the oxygen leaving the room.
The solution? If you know he has something on his mind, go ahead and ask what’s bothering him. If he doesn’t want to discuss it, let him know that you give great advice if he ever wants to talk and leave it at that. He’ll love you for it.
5. Even Santa Only Brings Gifts Once a Year
Are you a shopper? Plenty of women hit the mall on the weekends and when they’re nutso about a guy they tend to pick up all these cute little gifts for him. Nothing wrong with that, a thoughtful little something is great. Once in a while. But when it’s two, three, even four gifts a week, his happiness may turn to horror.
The thing is, not only does it get tiring constantly saying ‘thanks’ and oo-ing and ah-ing over little trinkets, but then the pressure starts building for us to reciprocate. And we can’t do it. We can barely manage a birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s, and anniversaries. You throw in random gift giving and our brains go into overload. Plus, this goes back to the whole issue of who’s more invested in the relationship. What seems cute and thoughtful to you just reminds him that you’re thinking about things way more than he is.
The solution? Keep it down to something every other week.
6. Don’t Crash His Guy Activities
This is similar to #1 but bears repeating. Watching a game, playing poker, or having a few beers with buddies can be ruined when a girlfriend talks her way into the event. We know the guy folded because he wants to have sex tonight, we get that, but we’re still not happy about it and will make sure he knows later. It’s important to let your guy have time with his friends so that he doesn’t start feeling trapped, like his entire life is the relationship. And it’s just as important to not pout when he tells you about plans with friends or mentally torture him the next day (you know what you do).
The solution? If you want to become a welcomed guest, it’s easy, just bring a few friends and some beer. Pizza is nice too.
7. Make Sure to Spend Time with YOUR Friends (remember them?)
Last, but not least, is remembering you had a life and other interests before he came along. Too many women drop their friends and hobbies when they start a relationship and pour all of their energy into it. This can leave a guy feeling like he’s now responsible for your social life and happiness. Way too much pressure. Not only that, but we want you to have a life and other things going on because it makes you more exciting and interesting to us. It also leaves time for us to have lives of our own too.
The solution? Be a good friend by keeping in touch with yours.
Are you wondering if something you’re doing may be smothering your guy? Post it in the comments below and I’ll do my best to let you know.
Also, what are some of the things guys have done in your relationships to make you feel smothered?
Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.