How Much Contact Is Too Much Contact?

toronto_akiteng-1059Question: She’s 46, I’m 33. We’ve been having really great dates and getting closer slowly.  I’m falling for her an she said she was very  attracted to me. But I think I may have also started acting a little needy and contacted her too much because on one date she said her ex-husband was too insecure and needy and she’s not looking for another needy man. Soon after that she seemed to have stopped all contact with me. I called her cell phone it was turned off. I called her at work but she seemed busy and said she would call me back and I said ok. She didn’t call back. I called her on her cell phone when I got home and left her a message just saying hi but she did not respond.

I checked her facebook page two days ago and she had posted some photos of her and some other friends. I checked it yesterday and there was a message on her wall, “Don’t make the same mistake twice.” I don’t know if the message was for me but she had also left a message on my facebook, some nice comment about a photo I had posted. I responded to it but that’s all I’ve heard from her.

I don’t want to pressure her but she’s leaving for a two weeks vacation and I’ll be away for another two weeks by the time she returns. I would just like to talk to her before we both go away. But maybe I should just leave it until I come back, as I might end up saying something which will hurt my chances with her. And maybe the time away will let her think about things. It may even be a good time to just let her start calling me.

The Love Doctor’s Answer: She said she’ll call you so why are you calling her at work on her cell phone? It’s like you’re chasing a simple phone call (“Hey! you said you’d call but you didn’t that’s why I’m calling you, please call because you said you’d call!”). So very desperate!

It’s not like she does not know that she’s going away on vacation and when she returns, you’ll be away. If it’s important to her that the two of you talk before you both go away, she’ll contact you. If not, give her space and time to process her emotions without you intruding in because you panic and think you should do more. Some Psychologists say it takes someone 48 – 72 hours to complete processing an emotion. If you impact someone emotionally they subconsciously start processing that emotion (how do I feel?  who made me feel this way?  why do I feel this way?  what will I feel next? etc). But if you keep intruding into the process with constant contact you interrupt the process and either the person has to start all over again or you create another emotion which may not be as positive as the last one. The latest emotion is what they process. So if you had a great time, best thing is to pull away a little and let her complete processing that emotion. If she likes the answers to her own questions, she’ll be motivated to contact you because she wants to feel that emotion again.

For now, to get to that “balance” of not too little and not too much, ask yourself if your reason for contacting her is urgent, important or interesting. If it’s none of those and you’re just contacting her because you feel insecure or afraid that you might lose her, you’ve crossed to the “acting needy” side. When you start to feel stressed out or fell a sense of “panic” in your belly, you’ve crossed to the “acting needy” side. If you find yourself contacting her about a contact you made that was not responded to, you’ve crossed to the “acting needy” side. When you’re trying to “manipulate” an outcome and invested too much – time and emotion – on the outcome, you’ve crossed to the “acting needy” side.

Also you don’t want to give the impression that all she has to do is make a comment on your facebook wall and your all over her as if it’s a come-on signal. My advice for you is to slowly cut out checking her facebook page.  I’ve seen this with my clients.  They look like they are “managing” to refrain from desperately contacting someone, but all they do is replace one “needy” behaviour with another. For example they stop obsessively calling only to start obsessively emailing or they stop obsessively texting only to start obsessively monitoring the person’s facebook page.  You are not really changing anything.  Sooner or later the other person will figure out where the obsession has shifted and lose interest.


  • Danny says:

    Huge progress with my ex gf (dumper), we talk (text) daily. In the past even during work. Should i try to message her again during work? the last times I have, she hardly responds but this was weeks ago as I got the message and stopped. I feel she is much more comfortable now but dont know if i am pushing things.

    • Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng says:

      I like reading about progress… (: Good for you!

      If it’s weeks ago and things have progressed since then, I don’t think it’ll hurt. Part of making sure things continue to move forward is testing the boundaries of what’s okay and what’s not. If she does not respond, well… you know what to do.

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