Question: I met him on one of my business trips. I’m 43, he’s 34. The chemistry was instant and strong. He asked for my number and he immediately called me. Soon after that we started seeing each other every other every, spending some nights at my place and some nights at his. We both have very busy lives but we always found time to be with each other. Everything was amazing for almost a month and a half. We talked about future plans and what we want from the relationship. But then two weeks ago, he kind of started to pull away. I asked him why he all of a sudden seemed distant and he said he felt things were moving too fast. He said he cares for me and is falling for me but doesn’t want to rush in and rush out. I’m totally confused. I don’t know if he’s playing me or if he’s taking his time and just doesn’t want to rush anything.
I’ve never been in the role of the chaser before. All my relationships, the guys chased after me and said they wanted to be with me forever blah…blah… but then they broke up with me a few months later. Although this guy is younger than me and all my other boyfriends including my ex-husband, he is more mature in his outlook to life and a lot more responsible than most guys. I just want to be sure he still wants to be with me and i’m not just wasting my time on a relationship that is going nowhere.
The Love Doctor’s Answer: Just as each person is different, each relationship is different and the time frames that apply in one relationship may not apply in another. But I think that if within just a month and a half you were already seeing each other every other day, and talking about future plans, things were moving a little too fast. And he is right in saying that people who rush in quite often rush out too.
But how do you know if someone is playing you versus taking his (or her time) to get to know you?
With all the “Rules” and head game-playing on both sides (and by even supposedly grown ups who should know better), it’s sometimes hard to tell who is just following some stupid rules, who is playing you and who is taking things seriously — and just wants to make sure they are making the right decisions.
I’ve tried to compile my own “signs” that help me when dealing with clients situations, and these are just 5 of some of the most obvious ones.
1. If you’re in the dark about what’s going on and he (or she) isn’t doing anything to explain or can’t come up with a plausible explanation of what is happening with the future of the relationship — you’re being played.
2. If the person suddenly pulls back from being fully involved (initiating contact, responding to your texts, emails, calls etc) to zero involvement (ignoring you or in a rush to get away) and he (or she) doesn’t care that his (or her) actions are hurting you — you’re being played.
3. If he (or she) is always saying he (or she) doesn’t have “enough” time for you but he (or she) seems to have enough time to do everything else including go out on other dates — you’re being played.
4. If he (or she) comes across as too good to be true or his (or her) words don’t always match his (or her) actions — you’re being played.
5. If he (or she) spends more time telling you that the relationship is neither right nor going anywhere, it is always the case that he (or she) is living down to his/her expectations – you are being played and you’re wasting your time.
Bottom line: If there is positive energy and clear signs of “good-will” or loving intentions from the other person, then it’s most likely he (or she) just feels that things are moving too fast for him (or her) and just stepping back to reset the pace at which things are moving. He (or she) is not playing you.
Stepping back and resetting the pace of a relationship that was moving too fast should feel “right” for both of you. You may not always agree on just how much to pull back or even if things were going too fast, but there has to be a kind of comfort that things are still “moving forward”; a little slower but progressively moving forward.