Dear Dr. G,

I came across your advice column here on Love Expands. I read several of your Q and A’s and you hit a home run every time!

I am 30, female, Iranian-American, live in the States…

I never ever have/had problems attracting men. Apparently I’m so “smart” and “beautiful” and “honest” and just “awesome and amazing”. I’m not being a narcissist here! I’m just quoting men I’ve spoken to on IranianPersonals.

All is glamor & glitter at the beginning (of course), we chat for a while, we exchange numbers, talk on the phone, skype or whatever and next thing I know the guy is BEGGING me to go visit him (they usually live in another state)..so, I receive a flight confirmation email (which he has paid for) and here I go!

EVERYTHING goes well and we have so much fun and laugh and talk and have silly moments and intellectual conversations. Then he drops me off at the airport with kisses and “I’ll miss you”. Next day all goes down the drain!!! I don’t really hear from him and no sign of interest exists anymore!!!! I am not the kind of person who would chase a man so if I feel he is distancing himself, I would not push.

What confuses me is that before the sudden disconnect, there is NO sign of disinterest or red flags. He is all lovey dovey and all over me and all of a sudden POOF! What happened? I’m really confused!

Like, dude, WTF?

This has happened more than once so I wonder what I’m missing here..

Please let me know if you need to know more about the situation. Also if you want to post this on the website, I’d appreciate it if you post it as anonymous

I am eagerly looking forward to your thoughts on this. I appreciate your help 🙂

– Fariba

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Dear Fariba,

Thank you so much for posting this. I had to chuckle when I read this…join the club. I know you speak for many women out there. And let’s be fair, because I believe there may be a significant number of men who share this experience. So let’s take a step back and get perspective. We often feel that we have to strategize, or act the “right” way, say the “right” thing, in order to catch a partner.

The only piece of advice I can offer about the “doing” part is perhaps for you to insist that they fly out to see you first – investing their money and their time/effort may demonstrate a higher level of interest. However, I’m not sure that small change will make a big difference at the end. People always tell us (typically our mothers) not to have sex too soon, not to bear all, to play hard to get, etc.  And yet we hear a lot of stories about people who met one night out, went home and hooked up, and are still together 20 years later.

So….what’s the formula?

There isn’t one. Sorry (believe me nobody is sorrier than I am for this one – I could really help myself and my patients if there were a formula)! My conclusion is simple. If you have found a good match and the feelings are mutual, AND both parties are in a place in life that they want to be in a serious relationship, then it happens. If any of this is off, then ultimately the relationship fails, sooner or later.

Be grateful that yours fizzle out rather quickly (although I know not without some heartache). I have learned in my own life to adopt a more Buddhist approach about the whole dating thing. I believe that people flow in and out of our lives, and serve some purpose. Perhaps they are meant to help you grow or learn some great thing about yourself. Perhaps they are meant to challenge you in some way that serves you well in the future. Perhaps they are only meant to be a brief and passionate encounter, a reminder of your own humanity and emotional vulnerability. Thinking in this way allows for more compassion, for yourself and also for the other person.

I like to believe that we all do our best, and someone’s “best” may not be your best or their best ever, but we must accept it. Having more compassion allows for a sense of peace about the chaotic and thrilling (and sometimes not-so-thrilling) world of dating. I’ll offer one last thought: Turn your focus back on you rather than meeting someone. Think about new hobbies or skills you would like to engage in that might lead to new life experiences and expose you to new people. I believe that when you are thriving in your life, you will attract the appropriate mate. Anyone you meet during that time who is not also thriving, will simply fall away. Do not fight that. You want a man who recognizes that he simply does not want to live without you. He’s out there, and he’s one Hell of a man! So be patient.

Sincerely,

Dr. G

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Important: Responses or feedback provided to your posts are NOT a substitute for therapy or in any way meant to be therapeutic. While I hope my feedback will be beneficial, please understand that responses should be interpreted with caution and in the appropriate context, as often very limited information is provided.

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