Taking a shrine to him
I've been seeing a guy for six months. It's frustrating because I initiate our get-togethers, and he returns my calls but rarely calls me, and we've only been intimate a few times. He went away for five weeks, and because I missed him, I asked if he'd e-mail a photo, which he did. Well, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I printed the photo, framed it, and placed it on my nightstand. Two weeks after he got back, he came over and noticed the photo, which I left out to see his reaction. He seemed really taken aback. The fact that he didn't leave, and we ended up having sex, gives me some comfort. But, I'm still worried about his response. Although we don't see each other regularly like most couples, I've got no reason to believe he's seeing someone else. But, we also haven't had "The Talk." Perhaps the photo was a good way to initiate it. — Restless
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, what would you say a restraining order will do?
Seeing the framed photo had to make this guy wonder ... no, not what the children will look like, but where's this whack job hiding the rest of her obsession kit: the butt of that cigarette he smoked, the fork that once touched his lips, the steel door handle he pushed entering the hardware store?
This is a guy you know about three shades better than the guy who makes your latte at Starbucks. Turning your nightstand into Shrine of the Guy You're Kinda Sorta Seeing isn't clever or flattering, it's Creepsville. Don't kid yourself that it's a good sign he stuck around to knock boots. For a guy, sex is like a bag of chips. If it's in arm's reach, he'll help himself to some.
There's an old line, "Chase a man until he catches you," meaning it's a woman's job to flirt, to let a guy know she's open to him asking her out. And while some guys will tell you they love when women chase them, men tend to devalue women they don't have to work to get. They might date you, and even get serious with you, but not necessarily because they're really into you, but because hey, you asked, and why not?
To weed these guys out, never do the asking. The most forward sort of thing you should do is maybe tease a guy by leaning in and whispering that he's hot, then continuing on your way. That's his cue to chase you — if he's interested enough — as opposed to lying down to make it easier for you to drag him back to your lair.
This advice shouldn't be news to you because you e-mailed me about this guy six months ago, and I told you he didn't show enough initiative, and you should drop him. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. That was "drop him," not "drop him off at the photo processing desk at CVS."
You need to pull together a sense of self-worth. If you had it, you'd be looking for evidence a guy has feelings for you, not planting it in your bedroom. Consider this thing blown. Just as it's easy to creep somebody out but nearly impossible to uncreep them out, you probably can't make a guy want you after throwing yourself at him.
In the future, if you love something, set it free. If it forgets about you until you call to ask it to dinner, have the self-respect to quick-quick put on a foreign accent and blurt out, "Hello, Mahatma? Your goat has been repaired and is ready for pickup."
The hide of romance
A woman I was dating "couldn't handle a relationship," but we later became "friends with benefits," and ended up growing closer. I'm happy, but want our friendship to be like other friendships: have mutual friends, etc. However, she's "too embarrassed to explain our relationship to people." Last week, I told her it's important for me to feel included in the lives of people in my life. She acted offended and hasn't spoken to me since. — Distressed
This girl made it clear how far she was willing to go with you — all the way, just not all the way outside. You agreed to that, then got a glint in your eye and tried to up-sell her. She again made it clear that she just wants the basic sex-only plan. It doesn't matter that having more is important to you.
Extending yourself for what's important to your partner is relationship territory. That's territory you can get into — that is, if you're up for the hard work required to find a woman who wants you to take her to fancy restaurants, meet all her friends, and bond with her cat before she'll be ready to use you for sex.