This week I’m talking about how often you should text, how to talk about commitment and respecting yourself in a relationship.
If you would like any advice, feel free to message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.
In this edition:
Question: There’s this girl at work who is giving mixed signals, what could this mean?
I’ve seen the tell-tale signs of flirting in clusters. ‘’Duchenne’ smiles just to see me. Her baseline behaviour changes around me. However, she’s already said she wants to focus on her work as she’s new to the company. She was quick to say yes to a coffee & give me her number but backtracked afterwards.
A: The trouble with flirting is that it is approval seeking behaviour and does not always indicate romantic interest.
When we start a new job, we surely do everything we can to fit in and not threaten the existing status quo.
You do sound very intense and I wonder if she is finding your interest a little too full on since she has only just started the job.
Yes she did accept a coffee and gave you her number. Sometimes we don’t know how to extricate ourselves from a situation and want to be seen as being nice.
The fact that she has told you she wants to concentrate on her work is a clear sign that she isn’t really interested – at the moment.
All you can do is back off a bit, stay friendly, say “hi, how’s it going” and see how she responds.
But she will notice if you keep focusing on her body language and staring at her – and that may well put her off completely.
Give her time to settle into her new role.
Question: Is it possible to like someone so much that you can’t stare into their eyes or text them?
Answer: I think you can be so shy that you can’t stare into their eyes but I’m not so sure about texting.
I can’t think of many occasions when you would actually stare at someone though. Flirting involves lots of sly glances and looking away when eye contact is made.
Texting is pretty safe, isn’t it? You can risk rejection without having to be present.
If you are asking whether someone is interested, check their general body language.
I think if they like you, they’ll give themselves away and, eventually, do something to strike up a conversation or get to know the object of their affection – you!
If you really like someone you’ll do anything to stay in their presence.
It’s also possible of course that they’re not really interested if they avoid contact in all forms.
Avoiding eye contact and texting aren’t proof of anything I’m afraid.
Question: How do I respect myself in a relationship?
I’m a very giving person. I do have boundary issues and often myself in a situation when I’m being taken for granted. I don’t like being alone at all.
Answer: I sometimes think that “boundary issues” is shorthand for “needy” and whilst there’s no shame in admitting that you need company (as we all do), many people will find this deeply off-putting and react by taking advantage.
Concentrate on yourself and work out what makes you happy.
Practise setting boundaries whilst you are on your own – for example, expect please and thank you from people, speak up if you are ignored, don’t let yourself be pushed to the back of the queue.
Start small and go from there and gradually ease yourself into a relationship.
Ask yourself often – am I happy? Am I respected? Am I listened to?
You don’t have to settle.
There are billions of people on the planet so odds are there’s at least one who’s right for you and will treat you as you deserve.
Just remember though that we teach people how to treat us.
It all starts with you – not them.
Question: Are women more attracted to the way a man makes them feel above anything else?
Answer: In many ways, yes, but it works for men too.
Relationships are a bit like mirrors – what we give out we get back and I think people leave because the way they feel has changed.
But if you’re saying will a woman be attracted to a man because he charms her, compliments her and generally smooth talks her, I’d say possibly but that’s no guarantee she’ll stick around.
Shakespeare once referred to compliments as “sweet breath” and that’s about it if there’s no substance to the relationship.
Rather than rely on the gift of the gab, you need to have faith and confidence in your own attractiveness and just be yourself – without all the hot air.
Question: How many times should I call or text my girlfriend?
I’ve always had this problem. How many times should I call my girlfriend! How many hours (max or min) should be between text or calls?! Or should I always be the first to text or call in a day? Or how much should I expect her to call or text me – in the beginning of a relationship or in a committed one!
Answer: The honest answer is: it depends. And if you don’t know the answer then you need to spend more time actually talking to your girlfriend face to face. You can’t have a relationship, at least not a meaningful one, via text.
Some girls will like a daily call or text. Others would think you are a stalker and feel hemmed in.
There are no rules. There’s no magic formula that will make a girl stay with you if you call or text the right number of times.
The real issue here is whether or not you are brave enough to tell her how you feel and whether you know her well enough to understand how you will get that point across.
And I’ll bet texting ain’t it.
Question: How do I handle my boyfriend’s hesitation to commit to our relationship?
He is amazing, loving, caring and goes out of his way to make me smile. This sometimes makes me feel guilty since he does all these things but I can’t get past the nagging thought that he can’t commit. He does want to but can’t because he’s from a close-knit community that wouldn’t accept me. Help?
Answer: You don’t say how long you’ve been together so if it’s not long, your boyfriend is probably not ready to commit.
I think the point about the ‘close-knit community’ is a red herring – because if someone really wants to be with you they’ll move heaven and earth to do so. To be honest it sounds like an excuse.
I’m not sure why you feel guilty because you say he tries to make you smile and is loving and caring.
Surely that is the behaviour you’d expect in a good relationship? Do you do the same for him?
That’s the way you’ll get him to commit. Not by nagging him about it.
It sounds like you have already discussed this but if it’s really bugging you I’d raise the issue again and say you want to understand where the relationship is going.
But, be aware that if you put too much pressure on, the answer to that question might be ‘nowhere’.
How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page.