Dear Dr. Peirano,
I'm 35, I look very good, as many women tell me, I have good manners (gentlemanly) and I earn well in an interesting job. That's why I get a lot of female attention. My friends are always trying to set me up. Heads are turning in bars and restaurants. I get to know women partly online and partly through work.
Since I'm single right now, I'm quick to suggest a meeting to see if it's a good fit. The lady and I then go for a walk or – if she is promising – even eat. If I'm not interested, I tell her straight away so that there are no misunderstandings.
When I want to see a lady again, the same thing usually happens. After just a few days, her entire attention is focused on me, as if we were already a couple. After a few weeks, some candidates told me that it bothered them that I didn't report regularly and that I was simply on vacation without reporting.
And that after an initial non-binding meeting! I get the impression that the women are all clinging and waiting for a call. If I don't do this, they are very disturbed and offended, they secretly accuse me of it, but they act as if everything is fine. In general, they all play the game of being so independent. But actually they're just waiting to get a man. At least that's my impression, and many of my friends confirm this from their own dating experiences. Unfortunately, this is pretty predictable and boring.
If I don't wish a lady I'm dating good morning and good night every morning and don't ask her how her day was or I'm not (yet) interested in her everyday life and her problems, I'll interpret it negatively. I don't feel the need to always exchange the same caresses with women who are still strangers to me, such as "Sleep well" or "Did you sleep well?" That's too banal for me, and also too premature. If I'm really interested in a woman, I'll do it all on my own, but not with a gun to my chest.
I have the impression that the ladies are replaying a film in their heads about what getting to know each other should be like. The man must come back within a time limit after the first meeting and say how nice it was and he must immediately suggest a second meeting. I can't do it in that form and I don't want to do it either. I don't want to function according to a certain mold because a woman is bored and thinks she can't live without a partner. Should I then propose marriage after two years and start a family after three years, everything going according to plan?
I lose interest in dating when the women are so dependent and cold or insulted as long as I don't join in. How can I get to know a woman and feel like I have time and am free in my behavior?
Best regards, Stefan B.
I work as a behavioral therapist and love coach in private practice in Hamburg-Blankenese and St. Pauli. During my doctorate, I researched the connection between relationship personality and happiness in love and then wrote two books about love.
Information about my therapeutic work can be found at www.julia-peirano.info.
Do you have questions, problems or heartache? Please write to me (maximum one A4 page). I would like to point out that inquiries and answers can be published anonymously on stern.de.
Dear Stefan B.,
I can well understand that you don't enjoy dating if you have the impression that you always have to fulfill the same expectations of women. You are under pressure if it leads to accusations, a noticeable cooling down or a separation because you did not meet the requirements of the respective dating partner. What is difficult is that the requirements were not mutually agreed upon, but that they seem to be in the minds of each other Women take place - like a film that the women unwind.
I have accompanied many women in therapy or coaching sessions who had met a promising man and whose thoughts only revolved around this man, which usually led to a lot of suffering. The women affected were aware of their dilemma and generally felt at the mercy of their own feelings.
Why do you think the women you've met recently developed feelings for you so quickly, while you were able to remain more calm and wait-and-see?
I have a few explanations here that you might think about.
Hypothesis A: Consciously or unconsciously, they always look for women who are “attuned to love from head to toe” and tend to cling. Can that be true? Have you ever consciously paid attention to the criteria you use to choose the women you want to meet? Do you perhaps know this from your parents (mother revolves around father) or from a previous romantic partner? If you don't want that anymore, you should be careful to ensure that a woman has a fulfilling life of her own, keeps some distance from herself (not out of tactics, but because she has other things to do) and doesn't appear needy. To find out, you could casually ask a woman a few questions before you meet her for the first time.
Another question would be:
Also pay attention to whether the woman sets appropriate boundaries for you. This is a sure sign of good self-esteem when you don't want to please everyone, but instead pay attention to yourself. For example, if a woman switches her cell phone to airplane mode when she is working, has an appointment, needs time for herself or has some rest, this is a positive sign.
Hypothesis B:Another explanation is that women fall in love with you quite quickly and feel like there is something special between the two of you. How about you pay close attention to what signals you are sending out? If you pay the woman a lot of compliments, listen to her carefully and convey that you are very interested in her, she will naturally get her hopes up. If, after an initial meeting, you wait, don't reach out, or withdraw, the woman feels left out in the cold because she can't understand why your interest has waned. That would explain why the woman is then reproachful and angry. It means: You gave me false hopes.
Sometimes nonverbal signs send a different message than verbal ones, and most of the time we believe the nonverbal signs. When someone looks deep into my eyes, caresses my face lovingly, and tells me, "Let's take it easy," I'm more likely to believe the loving gesture than the words. So be careful with physical affection (especially sex) and look at yourself from the outside or get feedback from ex-girlfriends or good friends.
Another thought: Are you really open to a relationship right now? If so: Do you only meet women who really interest you? Or do you also have a certain degree of arbitrariness when looking for a partner, along the lines of: I'll meet her once and then we'll see how it develops. If you meet women at random, it's not surprising that you don't feel a strong interest and remain internally distant. In that case, I would clearly advise you not to meet the woman, because these encounters only cause a lot of frustration and confusion on both sides and then usually come to nothing.
I hope that you can be a little clearer when looking for a partner and pay more attention to your own feelings. And of course I hope that you meet a woman who has real feelings on both sides and who makes you happy when you hear from each other, write to each other or see each other.