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Simply Solo Spotlight: How NOT to Smother Your Guy

August 21, 2012

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.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

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.

3. Over-Texting

Are you texting too much? Photo courtesy of woohoo_megoo

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

If this looks like the gifts you’ve given him in the past month … you need an intervention. Photo courtesy of Launa

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.


23 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2012 11:15 pm

    My last relationship was the complete opposite…exchange the male and female pronouns and you had ‘us’. I used to always joke that I was the guy in the relationship and he was the girl. You can only imagine how well that went over…hence we are no longer together.

    • sddave007 permalink
      August 23, 2012 4:14 am

      @ifUseekAmy I’ve known a few relationships where the girl is the guy. It never seems to go all that well.

      • August 24, 2012 1:17 pm

        I think I’m usually the girl in relationships (though a very laid back girl), but my last one was with a stage 5 clinger who had an insatiable neediness. I actually like to have space to breathe, if anything, for my own sanity!

  2. August 22, 2012 12:43 am

    I married my best friend, so from the start we became 69ers (couples who are stuck up each others a**es). 10 years and we still talk incessantly, text each other when we’re away to oblivion and buy ‘just because’ gifts…just because.

    Relationships should be easy and anyone who thinks otherwise is probably still single. While the author makes legitamate points about a couple of things, I think although it is important to hang on to your own identity, part of cultivating a long lasting relationship does require some level of meshing meaning my friends become yours most of the time.

    Relationships also require a certain level of maturity and understanding, on both ends.
    Simply not doing annoying things will not change the nature in which she conducts herself in her relationships and just because she’s not annoying doesn’t mean he won’t find some excuse to run.

    • sddave007 permalink
      August 23, 2012 4:22 am

      Although I agree that people will eventually mesh in a relationship and become friends with each other’s friends, I still think it’s healthy for both of you to have some activities of your own and do them with your guy/girlfriends. That’s just my experience. Good points though

  3. August 22, 2012 3:29 am

    Great list! Every relationship is different, but for anyone hitting any of these issues and not being sure what is going on, I think this is helpful. In particular point 4 (talking about problems – or not) – it’s really helpful to bear in mind that different people work in different ways here (and that the Mars/Venus thing, while a cliché, can quite often ring true.)

    • sddave007 permalink
      August 23, 2012 4:23 am

      Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you found liked it. That goes for Seducto, L, and Sarcasticus too!

  4. August 22, 2012 5:39 am

    Love it!

  5. August 22, 2012 8:05 am

    Reblogged this on Not So Skinny Genes and commented:
    Some great dating/relationship advice from a male perspective!

  6. August 22, 2012 9:37 am

    Very interesting but what about the guy who smothers the girl? Is he allowed to or is it just the girl who cannot do it?

    • sddave007 permalink
      August 23, 2012 4:24 am

      I have no doubt that plenty of guys smother girls too but I’m not an expert on how they do it so can’t tell them how to stop. Maybe a good post for Catherine to write in the future? I’d read it.

  7. August 22, 2012 2:55 pm

    This is the BEST blog about dating I’ve ever read! All women (and men, cause men acting like smothering jackasses should check their brain) should read this blog. Especially the control-freak girlfriends.

  8. August 22, 2012 4:25 pm

    Interesting post, and there are some very valid points in there. Although every relationship is different…. I’ve been seeing someone for around two months now. He introduced me to his parents on the 3rd date, bought me a phone the other week and seems to invite me to every outing with friends and family he goes on….. I do think space is healthy in a relationship and the whole label of girlfriend and boyfriend is a bit freaky, it should just naturally happen and not have to have the ‘big talk’ I just don’t make a big deal, I affirm to myself that I’m seeing a nice guy who I’m enjoying getting to know, and everything will develop in its own time. And if it doesn’t, then, well, I’ve enjoyed the experience. Thanks for posting 🙂

    • sddave007 permalink
      August 23, 2012 4:25 am

      You’re absolutely right that every relationship is unique. Like I mentioned in the texting point, some relationships are perfectly fine going fast but I think many people would benefit from taking it easy. Sounds like things are great with you tho, congrats!

      • August 23, 2012 6:56 am

        Yes I would agree, I’ve some friends who are crazy! Talking about marriage after a few weeks….. Thanks they sure are 😀 Thanks for your perspective, it was an awesome read 🙂

  9. August 25, 2012 5:18 am

    I can honestly say I don’t think it’s just a guy thing, or just a girl thing. For me I’ve discovered it’s a getting older thing – a relationship being your whole life is not so fun in the long run – that honeymoon period, sure but in the long run – you need to do things separately so you have things to talk about, you need your own friends to talk to and vent to even if you do have friends that are now classed as “our” friends.
    Oh and it’s all very fun when your not getting much done cus your texting each other every 2 minutes but sooner or later you have to do some work.

  10. August 25, 2012 9:41 pm

    Here’s one thing that would solve the incessant texting or phoning habit: don’t have a cellphone. He and I don’t have cellphones…and we have been happily together for last 20 yrs. Remember long happy marriages and partnerships happened before cellphone revolution.

    • August 26, 2012 3:05 am

      Good luck with that Jean, I just read an article last month about smartphones being more important than cars for the 18-25 demographic.

      • August 28, 2012 9:48 pm

        Neither or I are the type that like constant friendly checking each other on the phone. I sometimes phone him once a day or not at all. In fact, we seldom do it unless it is to meet somewhere, etc.

        Off-topic response: it’s been shown already in car buying habits that this younger generation is less interested in owning a car compared to..my generation.

        We’re cyclists….and yea, sure cyclists do stop to chat on cellphone/smartphone.

  11. Sarah permalink
    August 26, 2012 5:33 pm

    I can’t tell if this is meant to be funny or if the author is just a bit sexist.

    • September 7, 2012 1:45 pm

      Not sexist Sarah, just honest. It’s meant to give women a few helpful tips, not disparage them. If I were a woman I’d write a similar article from the other point of view but I’m a guy so this is the experience I can share.

  12. September 7, 2012 1:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Kiki's Adventure Service and commented:
    If only more people would read this.

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